Nico Rosberg makes Lewis Hamilton comparison as Pierre Gasly set to join Alpine

Pierre Gasly looks the most likely candidate to join Alpine next season.

2016 world champion Nico Rosberg has affirmed that Alpine will not need Pierre Gasly to be best friends with Esteban Ocon if they sign him from AlphaTauri.

Gasly has a contract with the Faenza-based squad until the end of 2023, but he will not be moving up to Red Bull after that due to Sergio Perez’s contract alongside Max Verstappen.

The Frenchman has already indicated previously that he will not want to remain a part of the junior team beyond the end of next year, so he will ideally be looking for a get-out.

That might have just arrived in the form of Alpine following Fernando Alonso’s signature with Aston Martin, while Oscar Piastri has also jumped ship and agreed to join McLaren.

READ: ‘Breakdown in trust’: Oscar Piastri reveals Alpine made bizarre decision

Red Bull adviser Dr Helmut Marko said ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix that he would not “stand in Gasly’s way” if he wants to leave, provided Alpine pay the 26-year-old’s buyout clause.

The price is not the only potential snag; Ocon has made it clear that he wants Haas’ Mick Schumacher alongside him next year, and part of that could be to do with his frosty relationship with Gasly.

The pair began to resent each other while they were karting, and the competition started to affect their friendship, to the extent that they are no longer on speaking terms, despite them both having made it to Formula 1.

However, Rosberg and Sir Lewis Hamilton won the Constructors’ Championship three years running at Mercedes despite their friendship capitulating as they battled for the title.

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This is proof that team-mates do not need to be friends as long as they have the pace.

“I think maybe you remember Lewis and I weren’t exactly best friends and yet we were dominating so I think for a team it can still work even if the drivers don’t get on if they are superfast,” he told Sky Sports.

“For me, for Alpine, Gasly is the perfect choice, he has been performing so well, I think that would be a really strong line-up for them. 

“Let’s see how much they have to pay Red Bull.”

Alpine’s pursuit of Gasly has come about after they lost two drivers in as many months due to contractual negotiations falling through with Alonso and Piastri.

Team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, would only offer the Spaniard a one-plus-one deal due to his age, and because Piastri was waiting to come into the fold.

If the 41-year-old ended up staying until the end of 2024 though, there was a chance that Piastri would end up out of a drive for the next two years.

However, the French team still wanted to keep him on board for the next two years, despite the possibility of there not being a seat available to him anywhere during that time.

Feeling cheated and played, Piastri signed with McLaren in July, and told his current employers about the switch shortly after.

Nonetheless, told multiple team members that Piastri had been promoted with those members unaware that the Australian had done otherwise.

The Formula 2 champion stayed quiet because he did not want to cause “a scene,” and he was forced to take to social media to publicly deny Alpine’s claim that he had signed for them for the 2023 season.

Rosberg cannot believe the blunder Alpine have made after a mismanagement of the situation left them in need of a driver.

“Here it’s Alpine really who has done everything wrong, it is really incredible to see them make such a mistake,” added the German.

“To allow him [Piastri] to have such a loophole in the contract when they have been spending so much money on him in the last years, I mean millions and millions in preparing him for a potential race seat.

“For Oscar, of course, you’re a young driver, if you have an opportunity to race for McLaren and you’re free to do so, you have to take it. 

READ: Breaking: CRB rules Oscar Piastri can join McLaren in 2023

“Opportunities like that don’t come around all the time. He’s done everything right, it’s Alpine also who are messing about, are they taking Alonso, are they not taking Alonso? 

“So, Oscar just went for the opportunity, so I think it’s the right call.”

Piastri now has a contract with McLaren until the end of 2024 after the contract recognition board (CRB) ruled that his contract with the British side is valid and final.