Oscar Piastri's F1 future has become far more certain, with Fernando Alonso's switch to Aston Martin opening a seat for the Alpine junior into the main team.
Speculation about Piastri's future has dominated headlines in the last few months, with Alpine and Williams suggested as his best options for 2023.
With Alonso out of the team, Oscar Piastri is expected to join Alpine for his F1 debut. However, a report from French outlet AutoHebdo suggests the Australian has several options available to him.
Alonso's exit means Alpine will undoubtedly be eager to sign the youngster who took F2 and F3 by storm, winning both championships as a rookie.
However, the delay in securing Piastri a seat could complicate things for the French squad.
AutoHebdo suggests that McLaren is interested in Piastri, with potential talks taking place between the two parties. Ricciardo's future with McLaren should be secure for the next 18 months, but everything is to play for when his contract expires at the end of 2023.
This is one of many outlets to suggest that Piastri has several teams interested in his services.
Piastri is still a part of the Alpine academy, but this does not prevent him (or his manager Mark Webber) from exploring available options in the paddock.
It must be stressed that Piastri's most obvious path to F1 is still with Alpine, but more twists in the F1 market should not be discounted as we approach the summer.
After all, Piastri's manager Mark Webber is well connected within the paddock. It seems unlikely the Australian pair have spent the last eight months waiting for Alpine to decide without entering discussions of their own.
There were rumours Alpine could hit two birds with one stone and retain the services of Alonso whilst loaning Piastri to Williams, but the Spaniard's exit means the team must work diligently to keep their most valuable asset.
Alpine remains the most viable option for 2023, but Piastri now has the luxury of an almost guaranteed seat with the French squad, allowing him to explore other options.
Piastri might not seriously consider any other teams, but he could use the interest of other teams to leverage a better deal with Alpine.
The French squad must act swiftly if they are to secure the Australian's services and agree to a long-term contract. In theory, the deal should be easy to finalise and sign, and this is why the Enstone team's activities will be observed closely.
Considering that the singing of Piastri is a seemingly obvious next step, any delays in an announcement could raise eyebrows regarding the negotiations between the two parties.