F1: Alonso points out ‘advantage’ over Piastri
(GMM) The driver lineups at Alpine and Williams are becoming clearer for 2023.
Renault-owned Alpine has Esteban Ocon under contract already, and it seems very likely that Red Bull will extend its loan of Alex Albon to Williams for another year.
Williams may also be getting another driver ‘on loan’ for 2023.
It is becoming clear that Alpine intends to ink a new deal with Fernando Alonso – meaning the Enstone based team needs to find a place for its rookie reserve driver Oscar Piastri.
Reports over the Baku race weekend strongly linked the reigning Formula 2 champion and Australian to struggling Nicholas Latifi’s seat for 2023.
“I definitely feel I’m under pressure but that will be the same for any driver who doesn’t have a contract for the following year,” Canadian Latifi, who takes considerable backing to Williams in the form of his father’s food company Sofina.
“I know I have to improve, I want to improve, I’m not happy with the way things are right now, so I just try and keep making steps to improve it,” he added.
As for two-time champion Alonso, he sounds determined to keep his current place on the grid, therefore locking out the Alpine race seat for Piastri for at least another season.
“As long as I’m competitive and don’t suffer from the travel, why stop?” the Spaniard told the Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport.
“Oscar is good and the team is free to test us, but they know what I have to offer. I don’t think I have anything to prove,” Alonso insisted.
“Not only that, I have the advantage of knowing the circuits well and how they vary, which is an important detail.
“I haven’t really changed since I was 25,” the 40-year-old added. “My general attitude, the research beyond performance, the desire for fairness in race management decisions.
“My desire for revenge is always alive.”
However, he is not expecting any official contract news for now.
“I still have two years in me, but the decisions will not be made until around the summer,” said Alonso.