Rumor puts Piastri on the grid in 2023, but not with Alpine

© XPB 

Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri looks certain to race in Formula 1 next season, although it's unlikely it will be with the French outfit.

The 21-year-old highly rated Aussie, who won consecutive titles in the FIA F3 and F2 Championships, was barred from being promoted to a race seat this season with Alpine due to Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso both being contracted to the Enstone squad for 2022.

Ocon will remain with the team in 2023 and all signs point to Alonso extending his stay with Alpine, which would leave it with no other choice but to loan out Piastri to another outfit.

"Oscar is a wonderful young man," recently commented Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer. "He is well prepared and very ambitious.

"We are working hard with Oscar, if the opportunity arises, to put him in a Formula 1 car."

McLaren comes to mind as a potential destination team for Piastri as he was designated earlier this year as one of the Woking-based outfit's reserve drivers for this season.

However, Sky F1's Ted Kravitz is hearing from the grapevine that the young gun is more likely to be loaned out to Williams in 2023.

"One of the latest paddock rumours has Williams interested in the services of Oscar Piastri," said Kravitz last weekend at Imola.

“This is for next year. I know I said you might see Oscar Piastri potentially at Aston Martin, but it seems I was wrong about that and actually Oscar Piastri/Alpine are looking at Williams potentially as a place for him next year.

"I don’t know if that will be in place of Alex Albon or Nicholas Latifi as both are very happy and ensconced within this team at Williams, but it’s one to look out for later in the season."

Should Williams provide Piastri with a temporary home, it's likely to be to the detriment of Latifi.

The Canadian is currently in his third year with the Grove-based outfit, and while progress and points were on the cards in 2021, the 26-year-old still has little to show for his efforts with Williams.

However, Latifi's healthy financial backing - courtesy of Sofina, his father's Ontario-based processed foods company - which guaranteed his race seat in F1 could remain a vital component of Williams' budget.

In Australia, Szafnauer said that Alpine is currently under no pressure to find Piastri a seat for 2023. But the team expects to ramp up its efforts to clarify its driver's in July.

In the interim, the talented young charger will take part in an extensive test programme that will include a lot of simulator work at Enstone and at least two FP1 outings with the team at race weekends that have yet to be designated.

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