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Alpine's Otmar Szafnauer faces a critical decision in the upcoming weeks as Alpine decides on its driver lineup for the 2023 season and beyond. 

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso is looking to sign a contract extension to secure another two years in the sport, whilst academy prospect Oscar Piastri is intent on making his F1 debut next season. 

The team has several potential paths, one of which is to "loan" Oscar Piastri to Williams for a couple of seasons, keeping Alonso at Alpine as Piastri acclimatises to the sport. 

Alpine could have already promoted Piastri directly into the main team, and given this option is relatively straightforward to execute, the French squad likely aims hit two birds with one stone. 

Still, Otmar Szafnauer has kept his cards close to his chest as motorpasion.com quote his thoughts on Alpine's 2023 options:

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"I wasn't in the team when Fernando was signed. Here he has all the environment, employees and the car that he needs. I think we will have one of the top three cars in the next two years.

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"Oscar [Piastri] already has the potential for F1. We still haven't taken the decision on our second driver, but I have no doubt Piastri is ready."

The ex-Aston Martin boss has made clear that Piastri will make his debut in F1 next year. The question is with which team. 

Alpine must ensure the young Australian has an opportunity in F1 next season. Failure to do so opens the possibility of rival teams poaching the reigning Formula 2 Champion.

Team Enstone must play a delicate balancing act this summer that cannot alienate their present or future.