Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has added fuel to the speculation overnight about Oscar Piastri’s Formula 1® future.
Piastri is the reigning F2® champion and couldn’t secure a grid position in F1® for this season.
With the Melbournian being an Alpine reserve driver, the natural progression would suggest a drive for the Alpine team; however, Esteban Ocon is contracted until the end of 2024, and Fernando Alonso looks to be staying with the team for another season.
During the Azerbaijan weekend, speculation circled the paddock that a spot would open up at Williams with Nicholas Latifi’s lacklustre performances this season.
Piastri has been heavily linked to the Williams seat, with talk continuing this weekend at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Szafnauer was asked if he thought Piastri would race in F1® next year during a press conference in Canada; Szafnauer uttered a defiant: “Yes.”
He added: “We don’t talk about the details of our contracts with the drivers, and that’s something that we never do.
“So as much as I’d like to tell you, I don’t think I can. But when I do say yes, that’s the plan.
“We’re contracted with Oscar, we have some options on him, so there’s no real need to hurry that. So we’ll take our time and at the right moment within the silly season, we’ll have a look around and make those types of decisions.”
When asked about Piastri, Williams boss Jost Capito said: “Oscar for sure is ready to go into F1. I think he’s one on the list for sure.”
“We have got contracts for this year,” he said. “We stick to our drivers, and we are convinced Nicky will find the confidence in the car through the season, and his results will be better.”