Esteban Ocon has a contract until the end of 2024 and will therefore continue to defend Alpine colors next year. Formally, it is still questionable who is allowed to board next to him. Fernando Alonso has an expiring contract and last year’s Formula 2 champion is sitting in the waiting room at Alpine. Friend and foe alike agree that Oscar Piastri is a huge talent, although after three straight titles there seemed to be no place for him in the premier class. Instead, the Australian is now acting as Alpine’s reserve driver and the team is trying behind the scenes to prepare him for his Formula 1 debut.
The question, however, is whether this debut will actually be for Alpine. Alonso has recently indicated that he considers himself more competitive than in previous years and would like to stay at the top level for another two or three seasons. There’s something for Alpine to choose from, although the honest story seems Alonso can partially decide his own future. However, team boss Otmar Szafnauer pretends to be in control and reconsiders the driver choice.
Asked by Motorsport.com When it became known who was allowed to board next to Ocon, Szafnauer reacted: “To be honest, we haven’t given that much thought. It’s still relatively early. We’ll probably talk about that at the British GP at Silverstone.”
Latifi rather on the side? Rumors about Piastri and De Vries
Should Alonso be chosen as expected, Alpine has already indicated that they are open to a loan deal from Piastri. Rumor has it that this opportunity could come sooner than next year. Nicholas Latifi’s position within Williams would come under pressure, which is why both Nyck de Vries and Piastri were named. However, Szafnauer emphasizes that there has not yet been a formal request from Williams. “I haven’t thought deeply about it yet. I don’t know what’s going on at Williams either, although of course I’ve heard the rumours. When McLaren came to us and asked if they could use Piastr as a reserve driver, we said ‘yes’ “The reason is because we want to give him as much time in a car as possible.