SportF1F1 - McLaren don't think Alpine will release Piastri...

F1 – McLaren don't think Alpine will release Piastri until 2023

Piastri will race for McLaren next year after a legal battle over his contract over the summer. And it is that after the signing of Alonso by Aston Martin, Alpine rushed to announce the Australian as a substitute, but he denied it because he had signed by McLaren and finally the Contract Recognition Board agreed with McLaren.

Having lost the case, Alpine said he would review his current relationship with Piastri , which could have opened the door for him to join McLaren early.

But since then, Oscar Piastri has continued to work with Alpine in the simulator during race weekends, leading McLaren to believe they won’t be able to enjoy their future driver until the season is over.

Asked if Alpine’s signing of Gasly for 2023 would help McLaren get Piastri released, team principal Andreas Seidl said: “I don’t think it changes much actually.”

“They still plan on running the show, from what I understand, with Oscar, until the end of the season.”

“So there really is no news.”

Andreas Seidl, Team Principal, McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36

Had McLaren been able to snap up Piastri before the end of the season, he would have been able to contest one of the two FP1 sessions that youngsters and rookies have to contest with teams this year.

But the team has announced that those sessions will go to 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou and Arrow McLaren SP IndyCar driver Pato O’Ward in Austin and Abu Dhabi respectively.

Alpine has yet to finalize its plans for the young drivers’ FP1 sessions, but has to meet the requirement in the final four races.

Alpine had planned to give Piastri those sessions until the French Grand Prix in mid-July, but team boss Otmar Szafnauer said at Suzuka he was “not sure” the Australian would feature in any of the final four. events.

An alternative option for Alpine would be Formula 2 driver Jack Doohan , whose impressive debut season in the series saw him challenge for the seat eventually filled by Gasly.

Szafnauer said Alpine would “start to think more seriously” about its young driver plans for 2023 once its starting line-up was complete, but indicated Doohan’s priority would be to challenge for the F2 title next season.

“Jack’s immediate target has to be to win the F2 championship next year,” said Szafnauer.

“We will support him in that process and we will help him along the way and we will give him kilometers in a car as well to prepare him for Formula 1.”

“But yeah, we’ll start looking at that now that we have drivers [after Gasly’s signing].”

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