Piastri’s F1 future tied to new Alonso deal

Oscar Piastri. Picture: Oscar Piastri Racing Facebook

Oscar Piastri faces a nervous wait before learning his Formula 1 future according to comments made by Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

Piastri is one of the most highly rated youngsters not currently in F1, the Australian having won three different junior categories in as many years, culminating in the Formula 2 title in 2021.

However, he’s currently enduring a year on the sidelines, working as reserve driver for Alpine, after he was unable to secure a Formula 1 drive this year.

Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso are both under contract with the Anglo-French team, the latter in the last of his one-plus-one deal that saw him return to the sport last season.

The two-time world champion, who turns 41 at the end of the month, is keen on a two-year extension.

Should that be agreed, it would seemingly keep Piastri out of the factory Alpine seat at least until that point.

“They’re all linked and tied,” Szafnauer said of the futures of both Piastri and Alonso.

“It’s just a matter of timing, and we’re not at that point yet.

“Like I said before, I think it was in May, that I was asked the question, and we’re going to start thinking about it around Silverstone time, and probably concluding something after the break.

“That’s still the case.”

The American gave nothing away when asked about the prospect of a two-year deal for Alonso.

“We haven’t really started talking in detail with Fernando yet,” he said.

“We’ll do that after the break.”

Former driver turned commentator, Martin Brundle, has suggested it is critical for Piastri to be on the Formula 1 grid next season, else he’ll be lost in the next wave of drivers coming through.

The 21-year-old has been completing a busy testing programme for Alpine in last year’s race-winning A521.

Szafnauer has confirmed that he’ll take part in Free Practice 1 sessions for the squad later in the year, though not until after the summer break.

Away from Alpine, Piastri has been heavily linked with a move to Williams in place of Nicholas Latifi.

The Canadian has had a difficult start to 2022, and with no contract for next year is the most logical place for any new driver.

That Piastri is part of the Alpine programme will be of concern to those at Grove, however a two-year deal that covers the duration of Alonso’s own extension would seemingly marry up nicely.

Williams would have a bright young talent for two seasons while Alpine maintains its current driver pairing while blooding in its future star – much in the way Mercedes did with George Russell.

For now, seemingly nothing has been decided, with the futures of both Piastri and Alonso inexorably linked.

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