While Oscar Piastre appears to be the obvious choice, could Albin invite someone else to replace Fernando Alonso for the 2023 Formula 1 season?
Not even a whole week later Aston Martin seat opened After advertising that four times Formula 1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel plans to retire Once the 2022 season ends, the two-time world champion Fernando Alonso confirmed his substitution From Alpine to Aston Martin for 2023.
The move came as somewhat of a surprise to most people, considering recent reports that Alonso and Albin were in talks about extending the 41-year-old Spaniard’s contract until at least next year.
With that being said, Alonso was the name floated as a possibility to replace Vettel, even before the 35-year-old German announced his impending retirement.
However, this entire sequence did not happen quickly.
Unsurprisingly, the frontrunner to replace Alonso will be Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastre, who many believe deserves a spot on the grid this year.
The former Alpine Academy member won the 2019 Formula Renault European Championship, the 2020 Formula 3 Championship and the 2021 Formula 2 Championship.
The interesting thing here is the fact that Piastre was previously associated with Williams as a replacement for Nicholas Latifi. Of course, rumors have surfaced that Alpine will loan its young star to the Grove-based team, assuming Alonso will stay in Alpine for another year, and that obviously won’t be the case for now.
But if Albin had the impression that Piastre was going to race elsewhere in the junior season, would they suddenly be willing to promote him directly to the organization?
Additionally, if a Williams deal is agreed, would Williams be willing to let him go and thus put himself in a bind when it comes to finding a second driver?
Don’t think for a second that Piastri to the Alps is as straightforward as it sounds, even if it does. But if that doesn’t happen, who might replace Alonso instead?
The name Daniel Ricciardo appeared as an option Amidst his continuing struggles in the second year with McLaren. Of course, Ricciardo has publicly stated that he plans to fulfill the rest of his contract with the Woking-based team, despite rumors that he will give up his seat, racing there in 2023.
But as long as he has the option not to return, there is still a possibility that he will not return, and the fact that there is constant speculation about his future, though confirmed, from reliable sources shows that it may not be. Simple as we think.
And look no further than IndyCar to see it Not all data about McLaren come to fruition (For example, Chip Ganassi Racing member Alex Ballou said he hasn’t spoken to other teams, Having been closely associated with McLarenOnly to announce later He signed with McLaren).
Now, there are of course some questions here. Will Ricciardo really join the team, then known as Renault, who was too quick to leave for his current McLaren seat?
His contract with McLaren was confirmed even before the start of his second season with Renault, and let’s not forget that he gave up his Red Bull seat to join the French team. He seems to have given up on the project a bit too quickly. What would it look like if he opted out of a separate contract and wanted to come back?
And second, will he really get a one-year deal with Alpine just to keep the Piastre seat warm for 2024? That’s what he could be up to, and he’s sure to get to the point of no-ride after 2023.
For all we know, the idea of keeping the Piastre seat warm for another year may have been part of what turned Alonso off, as he has since signed a multi-year deal, rather than a one-year deal, elsewhere.
In that case, wouldn’t Ricciardo be better off staying in place for another year, if he was serious about his plans to continue completing Formula 1? And if he’s serious about those plans, why shouldn’t he be serious about sticking with McLaren?
The absurd season has reached new heights in all motorsports, and the word “confirmation” means very little. This is another situation to watch not only on the surface, but because of the domino effect that can occur in the rest of the grid.