With six races remaining in the 2022 season, Alpine is still looking for a driver to fill its second seat. Initially, the team was betting on the renewal of Fernando Alonso, but he surprised everyone by announcing his signing for Aston Martin as soon as the summer break began.
Alpine moved quickly and said that Oscar Piastri would move up and become Esteban Ocon’s partner in 2023, but shortly after that announcement, the Australian denied that he was going to compete for the French structure.
Shortly after it was discovered that the Formula 2 champion in 2021 had signed a contract with McLaren, and after a lawsuit between those of Woking and those of Enstone, the Contract Recognition Board agreed with the papaya team.
Since then, Alpine has strongly disagreed with Piastri’s approach, although its general manager, Laurent Rossi , acknowledged that they did not have a signed contract with the Australian driver for 2023.
However, Alpine is very sore, as they have seen how the Melbourne team has turned its back on them at the first opportunity, despite all the investment and opportunities they offered.
As a result, Alpine’s young rider academy could suffer significant repercussions, as Rossi has acknowledged, who says he is hesitating whether to continue training talent or close his academy.
“The problem is that that puts the teams that invest at risk. If you make a decision to save money every year by not investing in young drivers and then lure them in with that money you’ve saved, then you’re at a different starting point.
“That’s why I’m not sure if we should continue to train drivers, because now, after everything that has happened, I will have to make them sign a contract that may not be attractive to them.
“And how do you resolve that? We are really wondering if we should continue with the program that we have beyond our current group of young drivers, with whom we will fulfill all our commitments until the end. But yes, at this moment we doubt that Let’s go hire new drivers, because why should we?” Rossi explained.
Alpine’s young talent academy currently has a number of Formula 2 and Formula 3 drivers under its roof, including Jack Doohan, Olli Caldwell, Victor Martins and Caio Collet, but also has other names competing in the F4 or in karting.