Oscar Piastri, Alpine, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Alpine offer Piastri to McLaren as substitute driver

2022 F1 season

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Alpine has announced it has made its reserve driver Oscar Piastri available to McLaren to serve as a substitute for Daniel Ricciardo if needed.

McLaren confirmed yesterday Ricciardo had tested positive for Covid-19. He has not participated in this week’s test in Bahrain after falling ill two days ago.

Earlier today McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said Ricciardo’s condition is improving and the team expect him to be able to take part in next weekend’s season-opening race. He said the team could call on Paul di Resta or Mercedes reserve drivers – Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries – as stand-ins if needed.

Alpine subsequently issued a statement announcing they would make their reserve driver Oscar Piastri available to McLaren if required.

“In the spirit of offering maximum racing opportunities to our stable of young talent, we have agreed that McLaren may call upon BWT Alpine F1 team reserve driver Oscar Piastri in the event one of their drivers is unable to race,” it said. “Oscar will remain fully contracted to Alpine, and we will retain first options on his services.”

McLaren did not approach Alpine regarding Piastri’s services, but will take him into consideration if a replacement is needed for Ricciardo. However the team remains confident Ricciardo will be able to participate in the first race of the season.

Piastri won the Formula 2 championship last year but did not secure promotion to a Formula 1 race seat and will conduct a testing programme for Alpine this year. His former fellow Alpine academy member Zhou Guanyu, who finished third in F2 last year, will make his F1 debut for Alfa Romeo this weekend.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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8 comments on “Alpine offer Piastri to McLaren as substitute driver”

  1. Obviously I wish Daniel and speedy and full recovery. This would be quite exciting though, obviously nobody should expect too much. But I’d like to see it.

  2. How about Alonso?

    1. @bullfrog He’s a regular driver at another team, LOL.

  3. The first time finding out, I was surprised as Mclaren doesn’t use Renault PU anymore.
    Oh well, even IF Ricciardo couldn’t participate despite getting his isolation period finished in time for the event, he’d more likely get replaced by either De Vries or Vandoorne, depending on which one attends next weekend with Merc.

    1. Edit: Substituted & De Vries as Vandoorne (nor Di Resta) will attend.

  4. This is a non-offer intended to keep Piastri happy

  5. Can someone explain to me why McLaren would be happy for an active Alpine employee to potentially step in for a race or two, and take notes / pass on information on lots of McLaren technical secrets? Seems like a crazy decision by McLaren to me.

  6. Hope this kid ,if he drives..shines

Comments are closed.