’No pressure’ despite Alonso-Piastri dilemma

"It’s great that Fernando wants to continue"

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By GMM

9 April 2022 - 13:49
'No pressure' despite (...)

Alpine is under "no pressure" to put reigning Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri in a race seat for 2023.

In Melbourne, 40-year-old Fernando Alonso announced that he would like to keep racing next year beyond the end of his current contract.

"Two or three more years," said the Spaniard.

"If it’s with Alpine, it will be good. If it’s with another team, it will be good as well.

"I will start these discussions probably in the summer so let’s see."

Teammate Esteban Ocon is under contract through 2024, so Alonso’s intention to race on will not be music to the ears of 21-year-old Alpine reserve Piastri.

"It’s in Alpine’s hands," said the Australian, "but we’re both very clear with each other that we want to make this just one year on the sidelines as the reserve driver."

Piastri’s manager Mark Webber insists that the Renault-owned team "don’t want to see him go".

"Now it’s up to them now to make sure that they deliver on getting him into F1."

When asked about the Alonso versus Piastri dilemma, team boss Otmar Szafnauer said it’s "great" that the two-time world champion wants to keep racing.

As for whether there’s pressure on him to resolve the situation, he insisted: "No, not as we sit here in April.

"I think the pressure and the silly season will be upon us in July."

"It’s great that Fernando wants to continue. And we also have Oscar on our books. Oscar is a wonderful young man. He’s very well prepared. He’s really, really hungry. One of the most competent young men coming through, and we’re working hard with him to… if there’s a possibility to stick him in the Formula 1 car, we’ve given him that opportunity. Later on in the year he’ll do some FP1s as well for us. He’s doing a lot of simulator work for us, too. An upcoming talent to watch."

For his part, Alonso said of Piastri: "Hopefully he finds a seat soon."

He also dismissed any claims that, at the age of 40, it might be the perfect time for him to move over and make room in Formula 1 for a new talent.

"I think if I was 25, there would not be this talk," said Alonso. "People try to find a way for the young talents, but I think this is about performance."

Alpine F1 Team

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