Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer believes Oscar Piastri will be racing in Formula 1 in 2023, but the reserve driver may need to look elsewhere for an opportunity.
The Australian driver is the reigning Formula 2 champion and joined Alpine as a reserve driver for 2022. However, with Esteban Ocon under contract until 2024 and Fernando Alonso looking set for another year with the team, a race seat at Alpine seems unlikely
When asked whether he thought Piastri would be on the grid in 2023, Szafnauer confidently said “yes”. He went on to add; “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. But when I do say yes, that’s the plan.”
“We’re contracted with Oscar, we have some options on him, so there’s no real need to hurry that. So 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.”
So where could Piastri end up? One possible option could be at Williams. They currently have both seats available for 2023, but it is expected that Alex Albon will remain with them. Nicholas Latifi’s contract is up at the end of 2022 and his performances have mostly been underwhelming. However, any deal with Alpine would have to be favourable to Williams and not just seen as a stopgap.