Alpine reportedly now prefers Pierre Gasly to Oscar Piastri, with the result of the latter’s contract hearing set to have a direct impact.
Following the confirmation that Fernando Alonso will swap Alpine for Aston Martin from 2023, Alpine have been on the lookout for a replacement for the two-time champ.
They thought they had found Alonso’s successor in reserve driver Piastri, only for the Aussie to react to a press release confirming his Alpine promotion by denying that he would race with the team in 2023.
Piastri is believed to have signed with McLaren from 2023 as a replacement to Daniel Ricciardo, this case now being heard by Formula 1’s Contract Recognition Board to determine which team has the valid contract with Piastri.
But, according to Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater, for Alpine this is now about more than just retaining Piastri’s services.
Slater reports that instead Alpine want to bring AlphaTauri driver Gasly into the team. AlphaTauri are apparently willing to let the Frenchman go, though want a fee from Alpine as he is contracted with the Red Bull fold until the end of 2023.
This backs up the analysis of ex-Formula 1 driver Paul di Resta over the Belgian GP race weekend.
“Today there will be a major transfer tug of war potentially resolved,” Slater reported. “Formula 1’s contract review board will meet virtually on a video conference to decide who has the binding contract with the current Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri.
“He is the F2 champion, McLaren want him to replace Daniel Ricciardo, they already have some kind of contractual agreement with him, but Alpine say their agreement is binding.
“I understand though that Piastri is no longer Alpine’s preferred option to continue with them, they’ve made enquiries about Pierre Gasly, who is the AlphaTauri driver, he sits within the Red Bull family, he’s into the last year of his contract next season at AlphaTauri.
“My understanding is if Alpine are prepared to pay a fee for him, then he would be allowed to join them.
“So, Alpine will wait to see what kind of compensation, if they win this contractual case, they can perhaps get from McLaren.”
Gasly was quizzed on the Alpine links throughout the Belgian Grand Prix race weekend, refusing to be drawn on confirming any interest from either party.