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Alpine and Ricciardo condemned to each other or is there another candidate?

Alpine and Ricciardo condemned to each other or is there another candidate?

11 August - 11:12 Last update: 11:20
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GPblog.com

Alpine is reeling from the departure of Fernando Alonso. Now that the Spaniard has left and also Oscar Piastri seems to disappear from the team, Alpine has to decide who is option C for 2023. GPblog lists the options.

Daniel Ricciardo

The most logical candidate for the seat next to Ocon is Ricciardo. The Australian had two strong years at Renault and was clearly the better of Ocon in 2020. The question however is whether both parties want to work together again. Ricciardo left Renault for the competitor after a substantial investment and, given Ricciardo's performance at McLaren, he has not necessarily improved. The question is whether Alpine and Ricciardo have another choice than to choose for each other (again).

Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly has already been signed up for 2023 by AlphaTauri, but the chance to drive at Alpine would be a great move for him. At Red Bull Racing, the door seems to be closed to him at least until 2024, so a move to a factory team would be a godsend. The question is whether Alpine can pry him loose from Red Bull. In terms of quality, Gasly is perhaps one of the best options and at 26 years of age, he is also someone with the right age and experience.

Theo Pourchaire

Also a Frenchman and very talented. Theo Pourchaire is only eighteen years old, but he is number two in the F2 championship. His victory in Hungary brought him closer to Felipe Drugovich in the championship and means he still has a chance of winning the title. Pourchaire is part of the Sauber Academy, but a place at Alpine is obviously more interesting for the young Frenchman than the possible chance at Alfa Romeo.

Outsiders

Besides the three main candidates for the seat, there are also several outsiders. Guanyu Zhou could possibly be passed over from Alfa Romeo. The Chinese driver was part of the Renault Academy for a long time, but was turned away at the end of 2021 and is still not convincing in his first year at Alfa Romeo. A step forward would therefore be remarkable.

Mick Schumacher is already in his second year in F1, but he is still struggling against Kevin Magnussen. Schumacher is also part of the Ferrari family and with his legendary father destined to follow in his footsteps at the Italian team. Schumacher, however, is not sure of his place at Haas and so a switch to another team is in order.

Felipe Drugovich can also be mentioned as the leader in the F2 championship. At 22, the Brazilian is no longer the youngest driver in the class, but MP Motorsport's driver has been very strong this year. Drugovich has no ties to any other F1 teams, so he is easily picked up by Alpine. But whether it is a wise choice for the fourth-placed team on the grid to take on a rookie who has never really impressed outside of F2 is highly debatable.

Nico Hulkenberg could also be included in such a list. For a long time, he was part of Renault and still a strong reserve driver for Aston Martin, as was proven again in early 2022 when he had to replace Sebastian Vettel. Hulkenberg, however, turns 35 this year and has been without a regular seat on the F1 grid for three years.

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