Piastri at McLaren's disposal as F1 reserve for 2022

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McLaren and Alpine have struck a deal that will allow the Woking-based outfit to call upon the services of Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri if needed in 2022.

The agreement follows the news on Friday of Daniel Ricciardo's positive Covid-19 test in Bahrain.

While the McLaren driver is expected to be fit and well for next week's season opener after a week in isolation, his team is making sure that it has an option to fall back on in case Ricciardo's isolation is extended.

"In the spirit of offering maximum racing opportunities to our stable of young talent, we have agreed that McLaren may call upon BWT Alpine F1 Team reserve driver Oscar Piastri in the event one of their drivers is unable to race," said Alpine in a statement released on Saturday.

"Oscar will remain fully contracted to Alpine, and we will retain first option on his services."

Regarding Ricciardo's predicament, McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl is assuming that his driver will be racing next weekend at Sakhir.

"I'm confident he will be fit again next weekend," Seidl said. "He is feeling better already. But as we know, it simply takes a few days until you are fully back in good shape.

"Obviously in terms of reserve drivers, it is similar to previous years. We have an agreement with Mercedes to share reserve drivers. We have also Paul di Resta, similar to last year, on standby in case it is needed.

"But again, expect Daniel to be back in good shape next week."

McLaren's reserve driver agreement with Mercedes theoretically allows the team to call upon Nyck de Vries and former McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

Prior to McLaren's deal with Alpine, de Vries would have been the papaya squad's only option as Ricciardo's replacement as Vandoorne is committed next weekend to the IMSA/WEC double-header in Sebring with Meyer Shank Racing.

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