Fear not, however, because Alpine has been nurturing the talented Piastri through his junior career and providing him with numerous tests in F1 machinery with a view of eventually promoting him to a race seat.
All seemed fine as the French manufacturer announced the Australian as Esteban Ocon's partner for next season - other than the absence of quotes from the would-be rookie in the press release.
Almost identical to Palou, Piastri denied the announcement and went as far as saying he would not drive for Alpine next year.
It soon transpired that McLaren had made an agreement with Piastri to replace Ricciardo alongside Lando Norris, with the case set to go to court as well.
So who will drive where for McLaren?
Here is the tricky part for McLaren.
In F1, Ricciardo holds the cards as the break clause between the parties is on his side of the contract - which runs out at the end of next season.
Norris looks a mainstay at the outfit given his long-term contract and his stellar performances in the MCL36.
The team has been very open in giving its IndyCar driver Patricio O'Ward testing runs, as well as Andretti star Colton Herta - raising eyebrows of a potential cross-code switch.
With Piastri also in the mix, there are potentially five drivers vying for two seats and whilst an embarrassment of riches can be positive, CEO Zak Brown runs the risk of being caught with egg on his face.
Over in IndyCar, it is a similar situation. O'Ward and Palou are supposedly signed, as is former F1 driver Alexander Rossi. Felix Rosenqvist is also on the books yet the team has only three seats.
That lends to Swede Rosenqvist transferring to the Formula E programme, but who with?
For a team that has been commercially sound since Brown took the helm, the recent driver market activity has felt shoddy and amateurish. In the end this is a results business, however, and if those results are delivered then nobody will care how the drivers were given the seat.
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