Yuki Tsunoda has signed a new contract at AlphaTauri, but Pierre Gasly’s future is still very much up in the air; Alpine tested three drivers this week in their 2021 car as they mull their options to fill next year’s seat; Nyck de Vries could replace Gasly
Last Updated: 22/09/22 9:39pm
Pierre Gasly has reiterated his desire to “fight at the front” in Formula 1 but says a “couple of things need to be sorted” before a move to Alpine can progress,
with the French team having now tested other potential drivers for their 2023 seat.
Gasly is at the centre of the fight for F1’s most desirable remaining seat for 2023, with a deal agreed between Alpine and AlphaTauri, although it is dependent on Red Bull finding an alternative driver for their sister team.
IndyCar star Colton Herta was initially the number one target but a lack of superlicense points has ruled him out, and now Nyck de Vries, who shone as a Williams stand-in at the Italian GP, appears to be the favourite.
De Vries has admitted that he has met with Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko.
Gasly, meanwhile, is patiently waiting to see if he will leave the Red Bull family for the first time in his impressive F1 career.
“At the moment this is out of my control,” Gasly told Sky Sports F1 in Monza.
The Frenchman, who has a contract for 2023 but has been told he can leave for the right price, added: “These guys have given my first win in F1 and my first chance in Formula 1.
“It doesn’t mean I’m going to stay there all my life because my ambitions in Formula 1 are to fight at the front, and that’s what I want.
“It’s been five years at AlphaTauri. We’ll see if I do another year there, but at the moment that’s what’s planned. If this is what happened I’ll give my 110 per cent to this team.
“There are a couple of things that need to be sorted first before we talk more about this situation. In my situation there are only positives. We’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.”
Alpine boss Laurent Rossi has talked up the prospect of signing Gasly, who would form an all French line-up with Esteban Ocon, saying the team need a “seasoned, effective driver who will score points right away”.
“Pierre is a very good driver,” he added. “He would be a good candidate for us.”
Rossi said Alpine hope to make a decision on their seat – made vacant by Fernando Alonso’s exit and Oscar Piastri’s contract saga – by the end of September, and the team have been testing candidates.
This week, Alpine completed a three-day test at the Hungaroring in their 2021 F1 car.
It is understood that Antonio Giovinazzi, formerly of Alfa Romeo, drove the Alpine on Tuesday, Nyck de Vries on Wednesday and Alpine junior Jack Doohan on Thursday.