Piastri runs extra Alpine test; Caldwell to make debut

Henry Valantine
Oscar Piastri, Alpine, smiles. United States, May 2022.

Oscar Piastri has been back behind the wheel of an Alpine in his third private in-season test this year, with a day of running at Silverstone on Tuesday.

The Australian, reigning Formula 2 champion and highly-rated Alpine reserve, has been heavily linked with a move onto the Formula 1 grid next season, and Alpine are determined to make that happen – be it with them or loaning him out to another team, with Williams a rumoured destination for Piastri if they decide to part with Nicholas Latifi.

Piastri also conducted a private test at the Circuit of The Americas back in April, before heading to Qatar for two days of running a month later, alongside fellow Alpine junior Jack Doohan.

Alpine stated clearly before the season started that they would be priming the 21-year-old for a step up to Formula 1 by putting on an extensive testing programme for him this year, and they have stayed true to their word with this latest day of running at Silverstone, a short hop from the team’s base in Enstone, in the A521 – last year’s challenger.

Alpine set out their timeline for making a decision about whether or not to promote Piastri to a race seat from July, with talks set to take place between them and Fernando Alonso over a potential contract extension.

But Piastri will step out of the car on Wednesday to give young British driver Olli Caldwell the chance to test Formula 1 machinery for the first time, three days after his 20th birthday.

Caldwell is taking part in his first full year in Formula 2, having also signed with the Alpine Academy as they look to bring young talent into the higher echelons of motorsport.

He was thrilled with the news, posting on Twitter: “The biggest moment in my career, driving the A521 F1 car around my home circuit of Silverstone. I am so grateful to Alpine for this opportunity. Thank you to them, and everyone else who made this possible.”