'Alonso signs new two-year deal, Piastri interested in Ricciardo's seat'

'Alonso signs new two-year deal, Piastri interested in Ricciardo's seat'

28 July - 06:35 Last update: 09:20

According to rumours, Fernando Alonso has signed a new two-year deal with Alpine. That would mean Oscar Piastri will have to look elsewhere. The junior driver would be interested in joining the McLaren team, but Daniel Ricciardo does not seem to want to give up his seat.

With the summer break approaching, there is much talk about the contracts of the drivers. Around the Hungarian Grand Prix, decisions are often made by the Formula 1 teams. At Alpine the negotiations with Alonso have been going on for a while, but the threat of the talented Piastri would have helped to speed up the negotiations.

"The word is that Fernando now has a new two year deal (perhaps one plus one) and this will be announced after August 1 when an option date will pass", writes Joe Saward on his blog.

Alpine junior Piastri would like to make the switch to F1, but due to Alonso's contract extension there is no place for the young driver. The team would like to convince him to drive at Williams for one or two years, but he might not want that. "However it seems that Oscar is more interested in an offer from McLaren that would require him ceasing to be part of the Alpine Academy", Saward continues. Williams, meanwhile, is said to be targeting Formula 2 driver Logan Sargent.

Messy situation at McLaren

According to the journalist, the situation at McLaren is complicated. Ricciardo has already indicated that he will stay where he is, but the Australian will have to make way if Piastri wants to join the team. His performance has not been upbeat over the past two years and McLaren also has clear interest in other drivers such as American Colton Herta. "There does not appear to be a specific performance clause in the contract, so the situation could get messy."

According to Saward, there are options to offer Ricciardo a deal with McLaren's IndyCar team, but in fact the team already has enough drivers under contract with Pato O'Ward and Alex Rossi. Felix Rosenqvist could join them, but McLaren also recently announced a deal with IndyCar champion Alex Palou. However, Palou's current team has filed a lawsuit against the driver after confusion arose on social media when both teams announced a contract extension. McLaren have said they do not want to pay for Palou to get out of another deal they knew nothing about. If Rosenqvist leaves for Formula E, a spot may still become available for Ricciardo.