Offering Oscar Piastri to McLaren was just a sign of “goodwill” on Alpine’s part, according to Sky Sports expert Ted Kravitz.
After McLaren announced a positive Covid test for Daniel Ricciardo, questions arose over who would replace him if he couldn’t return in time. The Australian did not feel well during the first two days of testing in Bahrain on the final day, the Surrey-based team confirmed their positive report.
A few hours after McLaren’s announcement, Alpine made one that surprised more than one. The French team offered them the possibility of having Oscar Piastri as a replacement driver for the Bahrain GP.
It is not yet known whether Ricciardo will be able to return to the grid in time. McLaren has also not announced who they will replace the Badger with.
recover quickly, @DanielRicciardo. 🧡
—McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 11, 2022
Many people were excited that Piastri could get his big break. However, Kravitz isn’t too impressed with the gesture. The Brit believes it was more of a ‘goodwill’ gesture than anything significant.
“It feels like it was a bit of a fishing trip from Alpine,” he said. “Oscar had made the trip early to test. He was there watching everything that was going on. It was good to show him that Alpine wanted to try and get him seated as soon as possible.
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Oscar Piastri should have been offered an F1 seat much earlier
Piastri is expected to spend the 2022 season as Alpine’s reserve driver. It was disappointing for many as the young Australian comes after three consecutive championship winning campaigns in the junior series.
Kravitz, like many others, believes the 20-year-old should have gotten an F1 seat sooner. He wonders about the future of the 2021 F2 champion in the sport, in particular because of the team he is part of.
In the spirit of providing maximum racing opportunities for our stable of young talent, we have agreed that @McLarenF1 may call on the BWT Alpine F1 Team reserve driver @OscarPiastri in case one of their drivers is unable to race. pic.twitter.com/etmryT1UrJ
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) March 12, 2022
“The only problem is of course that it doesn’t look like Fernando Alonso is retiring any time soon,” Kravitz continued.
“It’s weird, isn’t it, because potentially McLaren with a Piastri in there could end up taking a lot of points from an Alpine if they were in direct competition, such is Oscar’s skill, even if it would be his first grand prix.”
“It was a bit weird. You would have thought there would have been a joint statement from McLaren and Alpine,” the 47-year-old added.
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