The F1’s silly season has well and truly arrived, with the retirement of Sebastian Vettel last week sparking mid-season musical chairs as Fernando Alonso signed with Aston Martin.
Now widespread reports suggest McLaren will snap up rising Australian star Oscar Piastri, leaving fellow countryman Daniel Ricciardo without a seat for next year.
It leaves Alpine on the lookout for a driver to replace Alonso and Ricciardo shaped as the most logical option, having previously worked together when the team was called Renault.
But there could be a twist which opens up another alternative for Alphine, should they opt to go in a different direction.
A report back in June from RacingNews365claimed that AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly has a clause in his contract that would allow him to join a rival team in 2023 — with one condition.
That is that the team is placed higher than AlphaTauri on the standings and Alpine, currently sitting in fourth in the constructors’ championship, would fit that bill.
Now that report has been shared around again given it takes on even more relevance with Alonso’s shock exit.
Gasly’s path back to Red Bull is seemingly blocked after Sergio Perez re-signed until at least the end of 2024 and the Frenchman had been linked to McLaren earlier in the year.
But with Piastri seemingly on his way to McLaren, there would be an opportunity at Alpine should that be of interest to both parties.
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Speaking back in June, Gasly said he was in “ongoing conversations” with Red Bull’s motorsport advisor Helmut Marko about his future.
“Well, at the moment, it is not a question of looking outside [Red Bull] or looking anywhere,” Gasly told media, per RacingNews365.com.
“I think my contract situation is pretty clear with Red Bull.
“It’s just ongoing conversation with Helmut and the management to know what’s best for all of us. But, as I said, it’s been very logical that they signed Sergio.
“He’s been competitive since the start of the year, so yeah, no surprise on that side. Obviously, it impacts what’s going to happen for my career in the coming years and, based on that, we just need to have normal conversation on what’s best going forward.”