‘He’s one on the list for sure’: Williams boss comments on prospect of Piastri replacing Latifi

Oscar Piastri is the reigning Formula 2 champion after dominating the championship in 2021.

Williams team principal Jost Capito has stressed that Nicholas Latifi has a contract until the end of the year, but insists that Oscar Piastri deserves a place in Formula 1.

Piastri is the current Formula 2 champion after winning it last year having won the Formula 3 and Formula Renault Eurocar the two years previous.

The young Australian could not find a way into the sport this year as fellow F2 graduate and Alpine academy team-mate Zhou Guanyu was signed by Alfa Romeo, but the French outfit are trying to find a team to loan him out to next season.

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It looks likely that they will retain Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon next year, so there will be no room at the Inn for Piastri, but there are possibilities elsewhere.

After much improved performances in the lats two weeks, speculation has died down over Daniel Ricciardo’s immediate future at McLaren, but it would appear likely that Latifi will be dropped by Williams at the end of 2022.

While Tost cannot promise that there will be a place at the Grove-based squad in 2023, he thoroughly believes that the 21-year-old has earned his spot in F1.

“Oscar for sure is ready to go into F1, I think he’s one on the list for sure,” he said.

“We have got contracts for this year 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.”

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Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who hopped over to Enstone from Aston Martin over the winter, does not wish to openly discuss Piastri’s Alpine contract.

However, he is actively looking to get the Australian into the pinnacle of motorsport for the 2023 season.

“We don’t talk about the details of our contracts with the drivers and that’s something that we never do,” explained the Romanian-American.

“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.”

Renault CEO Luca de Meo previously made no guarantees about anyone’s future, but admitted that the solution he finds will not be “100 percent pleasant” for all three of Alonso, Ocon and Piastri.