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Who could fill Alonso-Piastri void at Alpine?

Who could fill Alonso-Piastri void at Alpine?

Who could fill Alonso-Piastri void at Alpine?

Who could fill Alonso-Piastri void at Alpine?

The Alpine driver saga is showing no signs of being solved anytime soon with the team and Oscar Piastri in a standoff over whether the Australian will fill the void left by Fernando Alonso.

Piastri was announced as Aston Martin-bound Alonso's replacement for the French manufacturer, only to deny any contract had been signed just a couple of hours later.

Both parties believe they are legally correct, with the fallout seemingly set to continue throughout the next weeks and months.

So if Piastri isn't in the Alpine, who else could be?

The obvious candidates

Daniel Ricciardo

The man that holds the key to the whole saga is Daniel Ricciardo. In likelihood, if Piastri is on the grid next season then it will be at McLaren and leaving his compatriot without a drive.

Ricciardo may be a gamble on current form but he could also be the best option available and has experience with the team from his pre-McLaren stint.

Pierre Gasly

It would make sense from a commercial point of view for a French manufacturer to employ another French driver alongside Esteban Ocon.

Pierre Gasly's chances of a Red Bull seat seem to have fluttered out and whilst he has been confirmed at AlphaTauri for 2023, there is little doubt Alpine's form of late would pique the one-time race winner's interests. An interesting option.

Nyck de Vries

Without an F1 drive despite his talent, Nyck de Vries has proven himself worthy of a place on the grid in two hours of FP1 running so far this year.

The most likely destination for the Dutchman would seem to be Williams alongside Alex Albon but if Nicholas Latifi is preferred, then Alpine could do a lot worse than hiring last season's Formula E champion.

The outsiders

Nico Hulkenberg

Out of a full-time race seat since 2019 but has impressed each time he has filled in for Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll or Sebastian Vettel in the past three seasons, Nico Hulkenberg is an outside bet for the seat.

As Aston Martin's development and reserve driver, the German has experience with the new generation of F1 car and spent his last days as a regular on the grid with the Enstone and Viry-based outfit. It could work, even as a stop-gap.

Zhou Guanyu

Formerly part of the Alpine junior programme, Zhou Guanyu cut ties when moving across to Alfa Romeo this season.

The Chinese driver was signed to a one-year contract only so his services are available, although the rookie is likely to be tied down by Alfa given his impressive start to life as an F1 driver.

For Alpine, it would make sense to pursue this option, with Zhou familiar with the team set-up and proving his worth alongside 19 of the best drivers in the world.

Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher's recent form has seen him linked to any seat that has come up - and if you ask Marcus Ericcson, the German could even end up at AlphaTauri!

But jokes aside, if a potential franchise driver is what Alpine seeks alongside Ocon, Schumacher could be the driver.

Career progression is seemingly non-existent as part of the Ferrari set-up with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz comfortable, so a move to a new manufacturer may prove fruitful.

Théo Pourchaire

From the Sauber Academy, F2 driver Théo Pourchaire is making a comeback against championship leader Felipe Drugovich.

The Frenchman turns 19 over the summer break yet has overcome injury in his first season in F2 to challenge in season two and looks a bright talent for the future.

A real punt, yes, but one Alpine may just take - if Pourchaire wins the title.

Antonio Giovinazzi

A driver from way outside the box would be Antonio Giovinazzi, who has struggled to adapt to life in Formula E.

The Italian left F1 at the end of last season but could be someone Alpine turns to if looking for F1 experience.

This would hinge on Giovinazzi's relationship with Ferrari and whether Alpine is able to find a more prestigious driver.

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