It’s almost inevitable now that we will be seeing a lot more of Oscar Piastri in a Formula 1® car over the next few months.
Rumours have linked the Australian to an F1® seat at Williams as early as Silverstone next week. The Alpine boss, Otmar Szafnauer, strongly indicated Piastri would have a drive in F1® in 2023 at a bare minimum.
Though according to Autosport, Piastri will be using one of Alpine’s mandatory rookie Free Practice 1 (FP1) drives at the French Grand Prix.
Formula 1® teams must provide a minimum of two FP1 drives to rookies in any given season as part of the new regulations.
Given the new rules on teams, it would be no surprise that Piastri is at least one of Alpine’s rookie FP1 drivers and most likely do both.
Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer wouldn’t confirm when we would see Piastri in the Alpine F1® car, instead telling reporters that it would be “soon”.
“We can tell you it won’t be Silverstone,” said Szafnauer.
“But it’s not far off. The answer is we plan to put him in the car. It won’t be that far off, but we haven’t announced it yet.”
The Austrian Grand Prix will be the second Sprint Race weekend of the season, meaning drivers have less time to get a feel for the car before they are in race spec.
The French Grand Prix follows Austria and is the logical choice for when we would see Piastri debut in F1®.