A particular triangle: Piastri, Ricciardo and Alonso. the names of the F1 market.
The Formula 1 season went on hiatus on Sunday after the Hungarian GP but it does not stop. Since 2 August neither Alpine nor Oscar Piastri have spoken on their social networks. The French team had reported that the 21-year-old would be the replacement for Fernando Alonso, who will take over from Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin in 2023. But less than two hours later, the Australian fired him and was more present: “I will not race there next year”. In the last few hours it has been talked about He already has a multi-year contract with McLaren, although the English team has not yet officially announced it..
For the world of motors, the story is clear: Daniel Ricciardo will have to find another team and Piastri will be Lando Norris’ partner, so McLaren will bet on a young duo for next season. Depending on the site motorsportseven if there is no official statement yes there was an interview with the former Red Bull to inform him that his contract will expire at the end of this championship.
But there is a problem that needs to be solved Much money. Ricciardo’s original contract is for three years and he signed it in early 2020, when he was still at Renault. Then the driver and the team leaders will have to agree on the early termination, which will certainly include substantial compensation for the 33-year-old Australian driverwhile he, who does not want to go to the team’s Formula E program, will have to move fast to find another place in F1.
For now, there is no indication of this movement on McLaren’s Twitter account. Ricciardo, on the other hand, remains very present. Will they be encouraged to add Piastri and let an expert go, when Lando Norris is only 22 and has a great relationship with his current partner?
The “silly” season (the silly season) began to move
This year the movements were immediate. Before the start of the last Grand Prix before the break, Sebastian Vettel has announced his retirement and left his post at Aston Martin in 2023. A few days later, on Monday, Fernando Alonso confirmed that he will occupy it, leaving Alpine vacant, which then he was quick to confirm his reserve driver, Piastri, before even talking about it with himwhich angered the pilot whose manager he is Marco Webber.
What has been confirmed so far? In principle, what there will be no moves in the top three teams: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell at Mercedes and Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez at Red Bull, add to what will happen at Aston Martin, whose owner is the father of Lance Stroll, so there are no doubts that the Canadian will be the partner of two-time champion Alonso.
After that, it’s all different speculations and scenarios, plus one big unsolved question: So who will be at the Alpine? One place will be occupied by Esteban Ocon, who has a contract until the end of 2024.
However, the other seat is in the air and may require the intervention of lawyers because the team could unearth a contract that commits the driver to follow if they got him a place in F1, after being a reserve driver this season and not being promoted after the Formula 2 title in 2021.
The theories about what will happen to Piastri are, in part, horrifying. Many say so the friendship of Alonso and Webber caused the Asturian to define his future on August 1st, immediately after the deadline the team had set to tell the 21-year-old Australian whether he would race with them or let him free to act, which he did not. supporting the theory of the The young man’s pre-contract with McLaren.
If McLaren takes Piastri, what will the Alpine do? According to the Formula 1 website, the main goal of the French is to reach an agreement with Piastri, on which they bet three years ago when he arrived at their school of young drivers. But if the Australian still prefers a tumultuous entry into F1 at McLaren, the list of candidates is extensive and in the first place I would have Ricciardowhich would cause a castling between fierce competitors for third place in the championship in recent years, when the fight was between two: Red Bull and Mercedes.
Now, why did Alonso leave a team like Alpine, which fights in the central zone with McLaren and now Mercedes, at Aston Martin, next to last, ahead only of Williams? The answer will surprise you: an agreement with Toto Wolff to replace seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton when he decides to leave F1 in 2024in what would be a great bet for the German team with a driver who would already be 43 years old.
Let’s talk about the rest. Williamswhere at first it was believed that Piastri would have made an agreement with Alpine to promote his young figure and, incidentally, to sell his engines to a team now powered by Mercedes, confirmed that Aless Albano. But who will be his partner is a question that the British are considering, because this year he will probably be Nicholas Latifi’s last. In this sense, without Piastri, the strongest option would be the Dutch Nyck de Vrieswho a few weeks ago tested Hamilton’s Mercedes as his reserve driver.
But Jost Capito also has an American from F2 between his eyebrows, Sergeant Logan (21), who is already part of Williams’ young drivers program. “We were really impressed with how quickly he got to grips with the car, the handling of the tires and its results. The way he got pole position at Paul Ricard was really impressive and in the future he will be in a Formula 1 car. I am absolutely convinced. If this was the best for us, we would consider it. If it was not the best and we had another solution, we would look for the best solution “, said the boss of the English team about who won 4 podiums and two victories this year in the opening category.
Alfa Romeo, meanwhile, has Valtteri Bottas, who not long ago was fighting for the podium at Mercedes and is the great figure of the teamtherefore his post does not run the risk that the Chinese Zhou Guanyu takes.
While the young driver promoted from F2, where he was third last year albeit far from champion Piastri, did a very decent job in his rookie year and adequately impressed team principal Frederic Vasseur, who must choose between him and Theo Pourchaire, a Frenchman who this year will have the opportunity to participate in an FP1 session. If he wins the title in the opening category, where he is only 21 points behind the leader, it will be difficult to keep the Asian despite the interested market that F1 opens with him on the track.
Something similar happens to Franz Tost in AlphaTauri with Yuki Tsunoda, who could face a third year in the team led by Frenchman Pierre Gasly. In his favor is that there doesn’t seem to be another young man in the Red Bull academy capable of being promoted to take the position by the Japanese.
And Haas? With Kevin Magnussen signed, the question remains about the future Mick Schumacher, who needs a good result after breaking two cars to keep his place. His boss, Guenther Steiner, would also have an ace up his sleeve with Nico Hulkenberg, as well as the possibility of Antonio Giovinazzi returning to the category after a year as a reserve driver.