Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has revealed that he will be open to loaning out their test and development driver Oscar Piastri to another Formula 1 team for the 2023 season. But this loan deal must include a return back to his former team. Hailing from Australia, Piastri has won the last three F1 championships while driving for Perma Racing.
While addressing comments by former world champion Fernando Alonso on returning in the 2023 season, Rossi said, “It’s a bit early in the season for us to position any driver anywhere in our team as well as in the other teams. So I didn’t make too much of that.
“We’re going to develop Oscar through the programme, it doesn’t change anything. Then we’ll make sure that… it’s not a question of if, but when Oscar steps into Formula 1 he will be as ready as possible. That’s the only thing that matters to me.”
“If it’s a solution that allows me to get him back at some point, I might think about it,” he said. I’m not opposed to the solution. You understand I want to develop Oscar, I don’t want to leave him sitting on the bench waiting forever. He needs to be ready when the day comes. And the day will come because he’s very talented, he’s very worthy of one of the top 20 seats here.”
“Potential of being a future world champion”
Laurent Rossi expects Piastri to have incredible potential and hence would want him to train in the meantime. Alpine CEO said, “And I do believe he has the potential of being a future world champion, I’m persuaded of that. So he needs to be trained as much as he can in the meantime.”
[Looking at a loan has] always been a parameter for all of us. We knew last year that Fernando was performing. And it would be very surprising if suddenly during the winter he lost his magic.”
“Ideal scenario is that he wins races and championships with us”
Rossi also expressed that he would want Piastri to return back to Alpine when they have a contending car and win here. He said, “That’s the thing we discussed with him and [manager] Mark Webber,” he said. I would love to have Oscar as my driver for the future Alpine when we get to the top of the podium. For me, the ideal scenario is that he wins races and championships with us. That’s what we’re going to try and achieve.”