Fernando Alonso will not need to wait until 2023 to drive for Aston Martin as he will represent them in the post-season Abu Dhabi test.
There are now only two rounds remaining for Alonso as part of the Alpine team, those being the Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, before he can then start looking ahead to racing with Aston Martin from 2023.
That does not mean Alonso will need to wait until then to drive an Aston Martin though, as Autosport report he will get behind the wheel of the AMR22, Aston Martin’s current challenger, following the season-ending race in Abu Dhabi for Pirelli tyre testing duties.
As part of Pirelli’s testing programme for their 2023 tyres, the FP2 sessions in Austin and Mexico were extended to 90 minutes and dedicated to putting the 2023 prototypes through their paces, although after the season the determined compounds for 2023 will be tested with Alonso on duty for Aston Martin.
The test will be held on November 22, the Tuesday following the Abu Dhabi race, with Alonso reportedly set to drive for half of the day before handing over to his 2023 team-mate, Lance Stroll.
Also set to be involved is Pierre Gasly for Alpine, who is taking the seat Alonso will vacate, while Gasly’s upcoming AlphaTauri replacement Nyck de Vries adds to the 2023 preview by representing AlphaTauri in that test.
Autosport add that Alonso apparently agreed his own release with Alpine to take part in the test, Aston Martin not playing any part.
When asked by Autosport if he had held the cards to secure that release, Alonso smiled and replied: “I’m always in charge of my own destiny!”
The report adds that Alonso is also expected to test the AMR22 in February of next season before pre-season testing in the new challengers, once more as part of Pirelli duties.
How about Oscar Piastri, who snubbed Fernando Alonso’s seat?
There is one glaring missing piece to the equation of the Abu Dhabi test, that being Oscar Piastri, Alpine’s reserve driver who will move to McLaren from 2023 after a contract dispute which had to be settled by Formula 1’s Contract Recognition Board.
Autosport report that Piastri has not yet been granted his release by Alpine to represent McLaren, Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer stating: “I think our legal teams are discussing that now. And I don’t know. There will be more next week, so ask me in Brazil.”
Long before all of this, Autosport state 2022 Formula 2 champion and Aston Martin reserve Felipe Drugovich will drive the 2021 challenger, the AMR21, at Silverstone on Tuesday November 1 as he looks to complete the 300km of running needed to be eligible to drive the AMR22 during FP1 ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP.