Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri will reportedly make his F1 practice debut at the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard next month.
According to Motorsport.com, Piastri will fill the FP1 slot for the Enstone squad as part of Formula 1's new regulations which mandate that each team run a young driver in at least two practice sessions this season.
Running the highly rated Aussie in FP1 at the Circuit Paul Ricard makes sense as its Alpine's home race. It's also likely that local hero Esteban Ocon will retain his seat for the session with Piastri therefore taking over the A522 car of Fernando Alonso.
But that permutation will likely be inversed for Piastri's second FP1 outing with Alpine later this year.
The 21-year-old former FIA Formula 3 and Formula 2 champion is on a multi-year contract with Alpine but is likely to be loaned out to another team next year to make his F1 race debut, as Alonso is expected to race on in 2023 alongside Ocon whose contract with Alpine runs until the end of 2024.
Williams is the team rumored to offer Piastri his F1 apprenticeship, with the British outfit pairing the young gun with Alex Albon, with Nicholas Latifi departing the grid.
In Canada last weekend, Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer was tight-lipped on Piastri's prospects for next season although the American fully expects his young driver to be racing in F1 in 2023.
"Oscar's a bright young talent coming through, as we all know," he said in Montreal.
"And he's been testing last year's car. At more than just Silverstone. He's done a few others and will do some more in the future. And he's doing very well.
"We're contracted with Oscar and we have some options on him. So, there's no real need to hurry that, so we'll take our time and at the right moment, within the silly season, we'll have a look around and make those types of decisions."