SportF1The pilots who are candidates to replace Fernando Alonso...

The pilots who are candidates to replace Fernando Alonso in Alpine

After much analysis whether to decide on plan A or B (renew Alonso or promote Oscar Piastri), in Alpine they were left without their two drivers for 2023, and they are still looking for the one who will be Esteban Ocon’s partner the next F1 season.

With Alonso at Aston Martin and Piastri at McLaren, there is a range of possibilities for Alpine, but what the French team is looking for is not easy to find in the market. Even so, they have a clear objective, and from now on we clarify that the main objective is to sign Gasly , pilot of AlphaTauri.

Red Bull , to whom the team belongs and therefore controls its drivers, is willing to release the Frenchman, but to do so he has to replace him with Colton Herta, who needs a super license to get to F1.

F1 does not seem willing to give it to him because of the precedents that would set, so if Gasly is not released, Alpine has to think of another option.

The candidate drivers for the Alpine seat for Formula 1 2023

Pilot In favor Against
France Pierre Gasley All. He is the pilot that Alpine wants It will only reach Alpine if Herta gets the super license to go to AlphaTauri
Australia Daniel Ricciardo experienced pilot Renault went wrong and is not at its best
Germany Nico Hulkenberg Experienced pilot, meet the team It takes almost three seasons without being a starter in F1
Australia Jack Doohan Belongs to the Alpine Academy itself He is an F2 driver, inexperienced and inconsistent
Netherlands Nyck de Vries He showed that he can perform well in F1 Has the same manager as Ocon
Germany Mike Schumacher Ocon supports him, he has an illustrious surname and is German Hasn’t convinced Haas in two years in F1

Alpine would want a driver with Formula 1 experience, and while Ricciardo seemed the obvious choice in the first place following his departure from McLaren, the relationship between the Australian and the team did not end well in 2020.

Nico Hulkenberg is another one that has sounded, but he is in the twilight of his career and although he has played five grand prix these three seasons replacing drivers with COVID-19 , he has not played a full season in Formula 1 for three years.

Without those two options, Alpine doesn’t rule out a young rider. In that sense, Jack Doohan is part of the team’s academy and, at least in the medium term, he is a serious contender if he steps up.

In addition, Motorsport.com has been able to learn that in Alpine they have spoken with Nyck de Vries and they see him with very good eyes, even more so after his brilliant debut with Williams at the recent Italian GP. However, and despite the fact that he is 27 years old and is the Formula E world champion, his experience in the highest category is very limited. In addition, his manager is the same as Ocon’s, and it is difficult for a team to want to have a lineup completely represented by the same agent. And more if that agent is Toto Wolf f…

Speaking of all the options, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said the priority was getting a driver to score points early on, rather than needing time to adapt and develop.

“We have to find a driver who is capable of scoring important points early on,” Rossi told Motorsport.com of the type of driver Alpine was looking for.

“That basically leads us to a more veteran driver, but at the same time one who is able to grow with us. So those are the criteria we use at the moment.”

“Otmar [Szafnauer] is leading the process, seeing all the drivers, discussing with them, evaluating the options, evaluating them here, evaluating them potentially in tests. So I think it’s going to be a process that’s going to take a little while.

“We want to make the right decision and there is no rush.”

Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing

Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing

Doohan has already taken three pole positions this F2 season, the last one last weekend in Italy, and has collected two wins in main races (Silverstone and Spa) and one in the sprint race (Hungary).

Asked if the Australian was in the team’s plans, Rossi said: “Yes, absolutely. Jack has a very good sense of timing, because he’s performing immensely right now.”

“To be honest, we already knew that he was very fast, the raw speed that he has, but he has gained a lot in maturity. It shows on the track, but also off it. The conversations that we have are impressive. I think something has clicked in him; he’s taken a step, which is really good.

Despite the accolades though, Rossi still thinks it would be better for someone like Doohan to spend a year or two away from the pressure of a top team to learn the tricks in a smaller squad.

“Regardless of his value, we continue to believe that the best path for a young driver is to go to a team where there is a little less pressure to perform,” added Rossi.

“I prefer that he damages his first wing somewhere else, that he finds his limits in a new car, because the step is big from an F2 to an F1.”

“It’s what everybody does in other teams. That’s why George [Russell], despite his incredible talent, spent years at Williams. Or Charles [Leclerc], they all basically need to hone their skills for a year or two in a great machine that is much faster than the F2. So that’s the plan for Jack.”

“That’s not to say we don’t take him into account, because his form is impressive. So we’re looking at him.”

“But again, we still keep in mind the main requirement, which is to be ready to score points immediately, and to help us continue to grow through the development of the car.”

“So we need someone who is able to show us the way alongside Esteban. We can’t develop a car on one side of the garage.”

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