Alpine boss hints Oscar Piastri could land F1 seat this year amid Williams link

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Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri could land an F1 seat as early as this year, Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has suggested.

Despite winning the feeder class last year, the Australian, who is Alpine’s reserve driver, missed out on a full-time F1 seat this season. Zhou Guanyu, last season’s F2 runner-up, got the nod at Alfa Romeo thanks to his Chinese backing while there was no room at Alpine, with Fernando Alonso taking his F1 comeback into a second year.

Alonso looks set to stay with the Renault-run team for 2023 too, prompting questions over where the talented Piastri can be squeezed in.

Williams appears to be his most likely destination as a replacement for Nicholas Latifi, who is enduring a woeful campaign. There has even been speculation that Piastri could take the Canadian’s place from next month’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Speaking at the team principals’ press conference at the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday, Szafnauer hinted that could happen and said the driver would certainly be on the grid in 2023.

Asked if he thought Piastri would be racing in F1 next year, Szafnauer replied: “Yes.” He also said Alpine had “some options” on Piastri, suggesting Williams isn’t his only potential destination.

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“We don't talk about the details of our contracts we have with the drivers, that is something we never do,” he added. “So as much as I’d like to tell you, I don’t think I can, but what I do say is yes, that's the plan [for Piastri to race in F1 next year]."

But pressed on whether Piastri could be on the grid as early as this season, Szafnauer said: “I wouldn't rule it out.”

Meanwhile, AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost has confirmed Pierre Gasly will stay with the Red Bull sister team for 2023.

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