Alpine’s dilemma: if he renews Alonso, Piastri escapes

  • The young driver from Melbourne exploded at not being able to participate in the practice sessions of the home grand prix: “I don’t want to be a reserve driver for another year”

This year more than half of the Formula 1 grid ends their contract. A situation that will undoubtedly cause a ‘earthquake’ of rumors and more or less unexpected announcements with a view to the next season. In Alpinewith the position of Stephen Ocon insured until 2024, doubts hover around Fernando Alonso. And it is that the French team has in the chamber the ‘pearl’ of the quarry, the Australian Oscar Piastri, The 21-year-old, who after winning the two titles in the previous categories of F3 and F2, remains in a waiting period, as Alpine’s reserve driver.

“It is curious that the F2 champion in 2021 have to watch the F1 races in 2022 from the sofa”, Piastri joked at the end of last season, recently crowned. Now his speech is more direct. He has made it clear to Alpine that wants to drive next year. If they renew Alonso, they will look for another team.

“We are learning”

Fernando, meanwhile, also launched the ‘hook’ during the Australian Grand Prix. He warned that he hopes to run “two or three more seasons” in Formula 1, with a nuance that no one missed: “If it’s with Alpine it will be good, if it’s with another team it will also be good… Piastri? It’s still very young. And I hope you find a seat soon. We’ll find out soon and we’ll start negotiating in the summer,” said the Asturian, 40 years.

Oscar Piastri finished frustrated in the home race, in Melbourne, where he did not even have a chance to participate in Free Practice 1. The CEO of AlpineLaurent Rossi, he wanted to apologize, but could not calm the Australian driver’s spirits. “It’s one thing to be the usual driver and break the car and another thing is pressure a rookie, with the talent he has. These cars are brand new. are still quite fragile for all teams. The drivers are still learning and we are still learning, so all the training sessions are important,” Rossi argued.

Only one year of reservation

“Also, the track is also new and we don’t have many spare parts. If you suddenly go and destroy the chassis, for whatever reason, then you’re like Hass, you run out of spare chassis. There was too many parameters against and that’s why we had to unfortunately decide to leave it for later. Oscar will have the opportunity for him on a track where he has done thousands of laps and where free practice 1 is not so important”, added the French team boss, who perhaps points to the Circuit of Barcelona for the premiere of its young star at the wheel of the A522.

“I don’t want to be a reserve driver for another year. In fact, I didn’t want to be a reserve driver even this year… but, well, I agree to be a reserve only during this year. My plan is to get back to racing as soon as possible and I want this to happen next year,” Piastri told Sky Sport.

No transfer option

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Alpine has not had the opportunity to transfer it to another team, as Ferrari did by placing Antonio Giovinazzi in Alfa Romeo or Mike Schumacher in Haas. Or Mercedes, conGeorge Russell at Williams. The problem is that the French team does not have satellite teams on the grid, so it has had to settle for signing a commitment with McLaren so that it can relieve Norris or Ricciardo if they suffer a loss like Daniel’s due to Covid.

Piastri will shoot at least two free practice sessions 1 this season, due to the imposition of the regulations. Alpine’s new sporting director, Otmar Szafnauer He has explained that they will study his situation in July, but that they want to take him to F1 and they are working for it.

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