Alpine boss expects Piastri will have Formula 1 seat next year

2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Otmar Szafnauer confirmed Alpine is looking to place Oscar Piastri in a Formula 1 seat for 2023, including outside its own team.

Piastri, who won the Formula 2 title in his rookie season last year and the Formula 3 title in 2020, is serving as Alpine’s reserve driver this year.

Esteban Ocon is contracted to drive for Alpine through to the end of 2024, while Fernando Alonso‘s one-year contract extension sees him to the end of this season. The two-times world champion has indicated he intends to continue racing in F1.

Asked whether he thought Piastri would be racing in Formula 1 next season, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer said “yes”. However, he added the team’s options are open as to where that might be.

“We’re contracted with Oscar, we have some options on him so there’s no real need to hurry that,” said Szafnauer. “We’ll take our time and at the right moment within the silly season we’ll have a look around and make those types of decisions.

Piastri has been tipped for a move to Williams in place of Nicholas Latifi, who has made little impression since arriving in F1 two seasons ago. Szafnauer played down rumours his conversation with Williams CEO Jost Capito in the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve paddock as nothing more than an informal chat between old Detroit neighbours.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2022
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Szafnauer would not be drawn on whether Piastri had signed any pre-contract agreements. “We don’t talk about the details of our contracts with the drivers, and that’s something that we never do. So as much as I’d like to tell you, I don’t think I can.”

While Szafnauer also declined to confirm rumours Piastri could replace Latifi before the current season is over, he reaffirmed Alpine’s intention is to make sure the driver has a seat next year. “What I do say [is] yes, that’s the plan.”

Piastri has an extensive testing programme with Alpine this year, alongside his reserve driver and simulator duties. He ran a test at Silverstone last week, which Szafnauer described as having gone “really well,” running Alonso’s chassis from 2021.

“Oscar’s a bright young talent coming through, as we all know and he’s been testing last year’s car,” Szafnauer explained. “At more than just Silverstone, he’s done a few others and we’ll do some more in the future. He’s doing very well.”

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2022 Canadian Grand Prix

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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3 comments on “Alpine boss expects Piastri will have Formula 1 seat next year”

  1. I have heard elsewhere that Alpine’s option on Piastri’s services runs out after the British GP. If they haven’t found him an F1 drive by then, he is free to sign elsewhere. So they must be pretty confident of getting a deal done somewhere, and soon.

  2. So the Williams seat is a done deal then 👍

  3. If Esteban keeps under-performing relative to Fernando, it might be Alpine for oscar?

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