Alpine ready to loan Piastri to race for another F1 team

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Formula One F1 – Spanish Grand Prix – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Barcelona, ​​Spain – May 19, 2022 Alpine’s Oscar Piastri ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix REUTERS/Nacho Doce

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July 23 (Reuters) – Alpine would be willing to loan Australian reserve Oscar Piastri to race for another Formula One team as long as they can get him back, manager Laurent Rossi said on Saturday.

Rossi also told reporters at the French Grand Prix that Renault-owned Alpine was working on scenarios for Piastri and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso to drive next season.

He said the scenarios were “very plausible, very sensible and which we imagine would satisfy both pilots”.

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Alonso, now 40 but still a formidable contender, wants to continue with Alpine who have Frenchman Esteban Ocon on a longer-term contract.

“I would be ready to loan Oscar to a team as long as I get him back,” Rossi said when pressed on the future of 2021 Formula 2 champion Piastri.

“We have invested a lot in Oscar, we believe in him – that’s why he is our reserve driver – he is a very promising talent, we would like to express this talent in the team.

“So a loan like a lot of other drivers starting in another team to learn the stuff and then come back to us would be a good scenario.

Alonso started in 2001 at Minardi before moving to Renault, with whom he won his titles in 2005 and 2006.

More recently, Mercedes placed George Russell at Williams for three seasons before making him team-mate to Lewis Hamilton.

Piastri has been heavily linked with Williams, who is expected to drop Canadian Nicholas Latifi.

Principal Jost Capito told reporters he would be open to such a loan deal.

“If it was what was best for us, then we would consider it,” he said.

Rossi said Alonso, a two-time world endurance champion and two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner, will still have a future with Alpine in sports cars when the time comes.

“Last year, even when we were talking about the renewal for this year, we were talking about the fact that Fernando is a sports legend but also a Renault group legend,” he explained.

“He will still have a seat in LMDh (the best Le Mans Daytona Hybrid class) the day he changes. He will be welcome. It’s his team. So obviously that’s part of the discussion.

“We actually made this decision (to enter World Endurance) with him in the first place as well.

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Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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