Former Formula 1 driver Pedro de la Rosa says the situation surrounding the future of two-time Alpine world champion Fernando Alonso is “unbelievable” because the team’s classification only comes after the Spaniards offered a warm support.
In an interview with DAZN, Renault CEO Luca De Mio suggested that the Australian Oscar Piastri would be a better alternative to Alonso for 2023.
With 41-year-old Alpine in the second and final year of his contract, teammate Esteban Oaken has already signed for next season.
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Piastri, the current Formula 2 champion, is the reserve driver of the Alpine. He told the Wide World of Sports that while he was OK to cut to the 2022 sidelines, he would not take a second year out of racing.
“We’ve combined Alonso’s experience with the youth of Oakon and now Piaestri has entered,” de Mayo said. “Finding a location for the three of them is a challenge.
“The solution will not be 100 percent satisfactory for the three of them, but we believe we must give each of them a chance.
“We have to protect the three drivers, and what they say is a super-talent in Piastri.
“Fernando is 41 and Piastri is 21. Moments of change will come, but Fernando is a legend and so we can’t treat him as if he were just another alpine employee.”
Alonso has had a disappointing season in 2022, with only one pair finishing ninth for his effort so far. The number of his four World Championship points looks worse than Oakon’s 30 rack up, but Alonso had the misfortune to block him in the first six races.
De La Rosa, a Alonso native, said Alpine should do his best to re-sign the 2005 and 2006 world champions, saying he wanted to continue playing “two or three more years”.
“I was surprised there was no approval, it’s incredible,” he told DAZN.
“The question for me is whether Fernando wants to continue, not otherwise. The plan in Formula 1 is medium to long term, otherwise there are no results.
“The way the ‘L (The) Plan’ works is to keep Fernando on the team for several years – it’s a long distance race.”
Alpine team president, Otmar Safnauer, previously said the team would make a call in July with their drivers for next season.
Alonso has been linked with a possible transfer to Aston Martin for 2023 after Sebastian Vettel’s decision to retire, while Piastri Williams has been cited as a possible replacement for Nicholas Latifi.
The Australian could also be in line for a Formula 1 debut with native Daniel Ricciardo in McLaren this weekend, with Lando Norris battling tonsillitis. Piastry is part of McLaren’s reserve driver’s pool.
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