Alpine have drawn up
a longlist of as many as 14 drivers to replace Fernando Alonso at the team in
Alonso surprised many
in the F1 paddock last month when it was announced that he would leave Alpine to
drive for Aston Martin from next year.
Alpine swiftly moved
to promote reserve driver Oscar Piastri in Alonso’s stead, but the
Australian then revealed that he would not be driving for the French squad,
having instead agreed a deal to drive for McLaren.
Instead, recent rumours have suggested that Pierre Gasly will move from AlphaTauri to
partner Esteban Ocon in an all-French driver lineup at Alpine next year – though
such a transfer appears contingent on AlphaTauri’s parent organisation Red Bull
finding a suitable replacement for Gasly.
Mick Schumacher and Daniel
Ricciardo have also been linked with a seat at the Enstone squad, and Team
Principal Otmar Szafnauer has confirmed that as many as 14 drivers are in
contention for the drive.
“We just want to
understand all those that are available,” Szafnauer told Sky F1.
“We’ve got a long
list. I’ve mentioned 14 before and it’s about right.
we’ve got to whittle that down to three or four and then look at all those and
see which one’s the best fit.”
Alpine keen to move on from Alonso/Piastri debacle
Alpine have come in for criticism for the manner in which they let both Alonso and Piastri slip through their fingers for 2022.
But rather than dwell on any misfortune or mismanagement, Szafnauer is keen to learn from the episode and move on.
“I think the right thing is we have to have a retrospective look as in what we can do better, learn from it, and we will do that in the future,” he said.
“But secondarily it opens up a seat now, probably the best seat open in F1. Now we’ve got to do a job in finding the right driver.”