Jul.24 (GMM) Alpine looks likely to ‘loan’ Oscar Piastri to Williams next year, clearing the path for Fernando Alonso to stay with the Renault-owned team in 2023.
40-year-old Alonso’s contract expires this year, with talks scheduled to come to a head over the summer break.
“We are building scenarios for him,” said Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi at Paul Ricard. “And Oscar, as I’m sure you would ask me.
“The idea is that the two of them are worthy drivers and we would love them to drive next year.”
However, with Esteban Ocon definitely locked into one Alpine race seat for 2023, it is clear the Enstone based team is deciding whether the other will be occupied by Alonso or reigning Formula 1 champion Piastri.
“We are working on scenarios for both of them to drive,” Rossi said.
“They are scenarios that are very plausible, very sensible, that we imagine would satisfy both drivers. But I can’t say more.”
It is clear, however, that the obvious solution would be to ‘loan’ Australian Piastri – who is managed by Mark Webber – to a team like Williams.
Williams boss Jost Capito doesn’t deny it.
“I think we’ve got various options,” he said when asked about Piastri at Paul Ricard.
“I think if that (a loan) was the best for us, then we would consider that. If it’s not the best – if we have another, better solution – we will go for the better solution.”
Teams are normally reluctant to simply accept a driver ‘on loan’ if the prospect is high that they will then lose that driver after a short period.
“I’d be open to loaning Oscar out to a team,” said Alpine’s Rossi, “as long as I get him back.
“We’ve invested heavily in Oscar, we believe in him and that’s why he’s our reserve driver.
“So, like many other drivers, a loan starting in another team to learn the tricks and then coming back to us will be a good scenario.”