Oscar Piastri set to replace Daniel Ricciardo in 2023, but will the McLaren driver join Alpine?

Oscar Piastri is expected to sign for the McLaren F1 Team after publicly rejecting Alpine.

The lights have most certainly gone out on silly season, with the Alpine F1 Team being left in the mud after a dramatic 48 hours.

On Monday, following the Hungarian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso announced that he’d be joining the Aston Martin F1 Team in 2023, replacing the retiring Sebastian Vettel.

Whilst this move caught everyone by surprise, Alpine quickly announced that reserve driver Oscar Piastri had been promoted to race alongside Esteban Ocon next season.

However, Piastri then released a statement of his own, explaining that he hadn’t agreed a deal to race with Alpine, and crucially won’t be either.

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Piastri must have an agreement in place with another team, with many believing that team to be the McLaren F1 Team.

The superstar Australian driver is rumoured to have held talks with both McLaren and Williams racing; however, it would be a surprise to many if Piastri rejected a seat at Alpine in favour of backmarker Williams.

This has led to the belief that Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo, with the 33-year-old potentially going back to the Enstone-based team.

Both Alonso’s and Piastri’s announcements have caught virtually the entire paddock off guard, with former F1 driver Paul Di Resta “surprised” that Piastri has rejected a “top four” seat.

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“Fernando going to Aston, I hadn’t heard it anywhere, I don’t believe my colleagues had either and it also caught Otmar Szafnauer by surprise,” Di Resta said.

“That has led on to what has happened obviously with Piastri who has been an Alpine junior driver;

“They have been lobbying him, saying how good he is and where that seat is going to come up and even trying to place him within the Formula 1 paddock because he is an asset to them in the future

“Now, that statement that he has put out, I find it very surprising that he is rejecting a team that is in the top four and a great upward trajectory, that you wouldn’t want to drive for them.”

The 2021 F2 World Champion rejecting Alpine has Di Resta convinced that he has a seat agreed elsewhere; however, the question remains where?

“That can only mean that he has got another seat secured somewhere else,” he said.

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“Where is he going to be driving? Is it McLaren? Is it Williams? Where does that leave Daniel Ricciardo? I am very unsure where that is going to happen.

“You have got this junior who is so highly rated on the back of what he has done in the junior categories and to sit him on the sidelines and now have him racing and invest all this testing in various different circuits.

“Putting him in a car was what Alpine had but obviously he feels he is going to be driving somewhere else.”