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Rumours and speculation now dominate F1's headlines, with Oscar Piastri at the centre of numerous scenarios and possibilities for 2023. 

The Australian's path to F1 seems almost guaranteed, with Alonso's Aston Martin deal paving the way for Piastri to sign a contract with Alpine. 

After all, the Double World Champion's exit was influenced by the team's intentions of eventually promoting the Formula 2 champion into the main team. 

However, things have seemingly become more complicated for Alpine, as reports indicate their 21-year-old academy driver has spoken with rival teams, including McLaren. 

Piastri's manager, Mark Webber, has the experience and connections to enter discussions with teams and understand the best options available.

Given the value Piastri has in the driver market, there is no scenario where the Australian duo spent the last eight months waiting for Alpine to make a decision without looking at interested parties. 


When considering how quickly Alonso and Aston Martin signed their agreement after the news of Vettel's retirement, team Enstone might have been caught off guard. 

It cannot be overlooked that Alpine and Alonso were in negotiations until recently, meaning that Piastri's position with the team has remained unclear. 

Whilst the rumours of a move to McLaren are far from confirmation, they demonstrate the awkward position Alpine find themselves in. 

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There are also reports emerging that Alpine are in a contractual mess with Oscar Piastri, as there is confusion regarding Piastri's freedom to sign with teams outside Alpine. 

There is no certainty Piastri will hit the ground running in F1, but considering his career so far, he is expected to perform at a high level.

This means he is a highly sought-after talent, and if Alpine has failed to lock the Aussie down, it could be to their detriment. 

Following Alonso's Aston Martin switch, Alpine stated they would decide on their 2023 lineup "in due course". This is nothing unremarkable, but it does suggest the team still needs some time to make a singing. 

In the event Alonso stayed with Alpine, they would have surely entered discussions with Williams to negotiate a seat for Piastri in 2023. If this is true, it would not be a stretch to suggest Piastri would look beyond Alpine for alternatives. 

This is not to say the Enstone team will be incapable of reaching a deal, but eight months is a long time to expect a talent like Piastri to wait for a decision without scouring other options. 

Piastri might only be interested in using the interest of other teams to leverage a better deal for 2023, but there could be more at play. 

Ricciardo's contract expires at the end of 2023, so his future - in theory - is at Woking.

However, with both parties seemingly unsatisfied with their partnership, a pre-agreement between Piastri and McLaren is not out of the question. 

There are also suggestions that Ricciardo could return to Alpine, the team he abandoned for new pastures at McLaren.

This switch seems unlikely and somewhat illogical, but when considering Ricciardo's current trajectory at McLaren, there is the possibility the driver market could become more complicated than first anticipated, which might make life difficult for Alpine.