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In the midst of Alpine's difficulties this week, the French squad still has strong candidates that could partner with Esteban Ocon in 2023. 

It is unlikely the Enstone team will be able to compensate for letting Alonso and Piastri slip through their fingers, but they can still create a strong partnership for next season. 

The favourite to join Alpine in 2023 is Daniel Ricciardo, who previously competed for the French team in 2019 and 2020, with the latter being among his best campaigns in the sport. 

However, another driver who might consider himself in the race for the vacant Alpine seat is Pierre Gasly. The 26-year-old currently has a contract with Alpha Tauri, which keeps him at the Italian squad until the conclusion of the 2023 season.

According to a report from racingnews365, however, Pierre Gasly has an exit clause in his contract that allows him to leave Alpha Tauri if the team approaching him is higher in the standings. 

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Irrespective of how easily Gasly can break free of his commitment, it seems unlikely he will allow his current contract to stop him from taking advantage of this opportunity at Alpine. 

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The Frenchman has spent several years with the Red Bull structure but is unlikely to be presented with the opportunity to return to the main team after his disappointing stint in 2019. 

There is a strong argument that Gasly has evolved significantly in the years since, but Red Bull seems disinterested in testing this theory. 

Gasly is consistently linked to the seats available in the midfield, as he has been vocal about his intentions to fight further up the field and join a team with the potential to progress.

And considering Alpine is the 4th placed team in the constructors, Gasly will be eager to seize the chance to join a constructor with the potential to move up the grid and without the inherent ceiling a B-team as Alpha Tauri has. 

Ricciardo is undoubtedly the favourite, but it would be unwise to write off Gasly's chances of giving Alpine another headache for 2023. 

Gasly's relationship with Ocon is famously cold, but off-track friendships do not necessarily safeguard from on-track incidents, as demonstrated by Alonso and Ocon's shenanigans this season. 

Regardless, Alpine would be unwise to dismiss Gasly as a candidate solely based on his relationship with Ocon, as the Enstone team cannot afford to let such trivialities impact their partnership in 2023. 

Gasly and Ricciardo are both strong candidates, but it remains to be seen which of the two puts pen to paper with Alpine.