Alpine prefers experienced driver in 2023, but Doohan is F1’s choice

The Enstone-based team is still looking for a teammate Esteban Ocon for 2023 after Alonso chose to jump aboard to Aston Martin and signed off on reserve Oscar Piastre McLaren.

Alps She set her sights on a deal to take Pierre Gasly From AlphaTauriBut Red Bull, which holds the Frenchman’s contract, says it will only release him if it gets IndyCar driver Colton Herta.

However, the chances of a Hertha deal appear increasingly slim, with the American needing an edge, and hopes of being exempted from the FIA ​​appear to be fading.

There are a few other experienced Alpine options on the market. Daniel Ricciardo He still doesn’t have a firm plan for 2023, but he left the then Renault team under a cloud at the end of 2020, while Nico Hulkenberg He could be a good fit but he’s in the prime of his career.

This is why youngsters like Doohan, who is part of the Alpine Academy, and Nyck de Vries, who admire their first outing Williams Last weekend, you had a chance, too.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said the priority for the team was to secure a driver who would score points from the start, rather than needing time to build himself up.

“We need to find a driver who can score big points right away,” Rossi said when asked by Motorsport.com what kind of driver Albin was looking for.

“This basically leads us towards a higher rank driver if desired, but at the same time being able to grow with us. Those are the standards we are using at the moment.

“Otmar [Szafnauer] Driving the process: seeing all the drivers discussing them, evaluating the options, evaluating them here, and possibly evaluating them in the tests. So I think it’s going to be a process that’s going to take a little while.

“We want to make the right decision and there is no rush.”

Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing

Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Doohan racked up his chances of a seat in the Alps race in 2023 without a hitch at Monza last weekend when he took pole position in the features race.

Asking whether the Australian was on the team’s radar, Rossi said: “Yes, absolutely.

“Jack definitely has a very good sense of timing, because he’s doing a phenomenal performance right now.

“Honestly, we already knew he’s really fast, the super speed he has, but he’s gained a lot in maturity. He’s showing up on the right track, but also off track. I mean, the conversations we’ve had are pretty cool. I think something clicked; he snapped. A move, and that’s a really good thing.”

However, despite the praise, Rossi still believes it would be better for someone like Dohan to be a year or two away from the pressure of a big team to learn the ropes at a smaller team.

“Regardless of his worth, we still believe that the best path for a young driver is to join a team where you have a little pressure to give,” Rossi added.

“I’d rather have him destroy his first wing somewhere else; he finds his limits in a new car, because the step is big from F2 to F1.

“That’s what everyone else is doing. That’s why George [Russell]despite his amazing talents, and the same pedigree, Charles [Leclerc] Plus, they need to basically hone their skills in a big machine that’s much faster than an F2 for a year or two. So this is Jack’s plan.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t think about him, because his impressive form is impressive. So we’re looking at him.”

“But again, we still keep the key criteria in mind, which is to be ready to score points right away, and to help us continue to grow through the development of the car.

“So we need someone who is able to show the way to Esteban’s side. We can’t develop a car just on one side of the garage.”

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