Ocon is currently in the final year of his contract with Alpine and has been touted as one of the potential replacements for Hamilton once he heads to Ferrari.
The 27-year-old is well known to the Toto Wolff-led organisation after working as reserve driver for the team in 2019.
He claims to have held discussions about stepping into a race drive for 2020 alongside Hamilton, though the team ultimately elected to continue with Valtteri Bottas.
That saw him move to Renault (now Alpine) where he finished second behind Sergio Perez at the 2020 Sakhir Grand Prix and won the Hungarian GP the following season.
Now, he's been flagged as a candidate to replace Hamilton and return to Brackley, five years after he was last there.
“It is always the case: doesn't matter if you have a contract or not, if you don't perform in F1, you're out,” Ocon said when asked about opportunities in the driver market for 2025.
“We're going to see. Obviously I'm going into the year thinking, you know, I want to do the best I can, maximise the potential.
“If I do that at every race, there will always be opportunities and satisfaction by other teams.
“There will be rumours and talks and that's a good thing,” he added.
“If you do a good job, then there's always these kinds of things. But I'm completely dedicated to Alpine for this year, and we'll see what the future holds.”
Ocon has remained under the management of Mercedes since 2017. It's a point that has spurred suggestions he's among the favourites to replace Hamilton.
“It's clear that we have links with Mercedes,” he conceded.
“But yeah, we'll see what the future holds.
“I'm completely dedicated to Alpine, what I have to do with the team, the plan that we have ahead as well.
“That's the whole focus I need to have, because these things are very disruptive, focus-wise.
“That's why I have a very competitive management team that's able to take the right choices on where we have to be.
“So I'm not worried and my focus is on this year.”
At Mercedes, Wolff has stated that his focus is on the coming campaign and that he is in no rush to find a replacement for the departing seven-time champion. He can't afford to wait too long, however.
The driver market is especially vibrant, with only McLaren and Ferrari having their 2025 pairings locked away.
Charles Leclerc and Lando Norris have both recently agreed to contract extensions. Williams boss James Vowles has implied that he would block Alex Albon from breaking his contract with the Grove squad to pursue another opportunity.
Ocon is therefore an obvious candidate given his ready availability and Mercedes links.
Should that transpire, it would also open the possibility of Jack Doohan finding his way onto the grid for 2025 with Alpine.
As reserve driver for the last two years, Doohan would be a strong candidate.
Given the team's position in the pecking order last year, it's unlikely to attract the established top-tier drivers, like Carlos Sainz, who is out of the drive at Ferrari.
It would, however, provide a good opportunity to promote from within and justify its driver academy.
Doohan is poised to complete a number of test days in 2021 and 2022-spec machinery, the latter of particular use given the relevance to the 2024 car.
He'll also work supporting the team in the simulator and attend most (if not all) events. It is his sole focus for the coming year as he does not have a race programme of his own.
Of course there will be other considerations and the team would not be doing its job if it didn't at least hold discussions elsewhere.
However, given the faith the 21-year-old has shown in the team, and his potential when given the machinery to compete in F2, he is a bright prospect.
Doohan is throwing himself entirely into the reserve role with Alpine as he waits for his chance. But he can't wait forever.
Failure to promote from within, or at least find a drive for its young drivers elsewhere should it have no room internally (as was the plan with Oscar Piastri and Williams) undermines the point of the academy at a fundamental level.
Of course, this is just one potential outcome of the silly season heading into 2025, which has already been the most surprising in years.
F1 2025 driver lineup
|Red Bull Racing