The Alpine F1 Team is reported to use Oscar Piastri for the first free practice session of the F1 French Grand Prix.
This year, F1 requires at least two free practices to carry a “rookie” driver. At the F1 Spanish Grand Prix, Red Bull Racing has appointed Juri Vips and Williams F1 has appointed Nyck de Vries, each driver experiencing the F1 session for the first time.
The directive was introduced to give the next generation of drivers a taste of what F1 looks like, and Oscar Piastri is rumored to have the next chance.
Autosport reports that Oscar Piastri, whose reserve driver is the Alpine F1 Team, will run the first free practice session of the F1 French Grand Prix.
The timing makes sense given the Alpine F1 Team’s plans to bring an upgrade package to the next race at Silverstone. The next F1 Austrian Grand Prix will include a sprint race.
Otmar Szafnauer, head of the Alpine F1 Team, did not say exactly what Oscar Piastri would be in the steering wheel, but said “immediately.”
“I can say it’s not Silverstone,” said Otmar Szafnauer.
“But it’s not too far away. The answer is that he’ll be in the car. Not too far, but I haven’t announced yet.”
Given that the F1 Austrian Grand Prix has a built-in sprint race and race drivers go straight to qualifying in the afternoon, Oscar Piastri’s debut on the Alpine F1 Team’s home track is a logical choice.
Oscar Piastri competed in the Formula Renault Eurocup at Paul Ricard in 2019, but did not race in France during either the F3 or F2 title-winning season.
Oscar Piastri is expected to become a Williams F1 driver in 2023 while maintaining a relationship with the Alpine F1 Team, but Otmar Szafnauer declines to make any speculation about his future.
“As we all know, Oscar is a bright young talent of the future,” commented Otmar Szafnauer.
“We have a contract with Oscar and he has several options, so you don’t have to rush it. Take the time, look around at the right time for the Silly season, and like that. Make a type decision “
“And he’s been testing last year’s car. Not just Silverstone. He’s done a few other tests, but he’ll do more in the future, and he’s doing very well.”
Oscar Piastri is widely rumored to make his debut at Williams F1 in 2023 on behalf of Nicholas Latifi, whose future is uncertain.
Asked at the Canadian Grand Prix if he believed Oscar Piastri would be on the F1 grid in 2023, Otmar Szafnauer replied “yes” rebelliously.
“We don’t talk about the details of the contract with the driver. That’s what we never do.”
“Therefore, no matter how many I want to tell, I don’t think I can tell, but when I say so, it’s planned.”
When Oscar Piastri joins Williams F1, it is believed that he will take the form of a loan transfer while still on the Alpine F1 team. This is similar to the relationship between Alexander Albon and Red Bull, and George Russell and Mercedes.
Category: Category: F1 / Alpine / Oscar Piastri