Despite reports suggesting that Alpine were in talks to acquire Pierre Gasly’s services for 2023, there are now concerns around the paddock that Alpine is hesitant about pushing for this move.
Gasly’s availability is dependent on whether the FIA offers Colton Herta an exemption, and it seems the French squad is uneasy about waiting for official clarification from the FIA.
With Gasly no longer a clear front-runner, Nyck de Vries has emerged as another candidate to partner with Esteban Ocon next season.
Alpine has previously mentioned its extensive shortlist for next season, so it seems plausible that de Vries would be among these names. However, a report from racingnews365 suggests that the Dutchman is being seriously considered.
Nyck de Vries has been linked to an F1 seat since his victory in the Formula 2 championship, so this report is far from a guarantee the 27-year-old will get his opportunity in F1. That said, some factors could boost de Vries’ chances.
One of these is the Colton Herta situation, which could make Pierre Gasly unavailable. In the Frenchman’s absence, some might suggests Daniel Ricciardo is a more obvious candidate. After all, the 8-time race winner is the most accomplished free agent on the market.
While this is true, Ricciardo’s exit from Renault after just two seasons (Ricciardo signed with McLaren before the 2020 season even began) might have left Alpine’s upper management with a sour taste.
If this hypothesis is true, Alpine might search for a short-term solution for their vacancy. De Vries’ performance in Monza qualifying is unlikely to turn the driver market on its head, but it serves as a good advert for the Dutchman as a dependable driver.
De Vries could serve as something of a stop-gap for Alpine junior Jack Doohan, who the Enstone squad might be reluctant to promote to F1 after just one year in Formula 2.
In any case, the situation at Alpine remains unclear, considering that Oscar Piastri and Fernando Alonso seemed the team’s only realistic options only a few months ago. With Gasly’s move to Alpine seemingly stalling, there is no obvious candidate to join the team in 2023.
Alpine would certainly surprise the paddock by offering a contract to de Vries. Then again, they have already achieved this on multiple occasions this year.