According to a “paddock rumour” relayed by Sky F1 journalist Ted Kravitz, Oscar Piastri could be joining Williams in 2023.
After winning the F3 and F2 championships in back-to-back seasons, the Australian driver appears to be the next in line for a Formula 1 racing seat.
He’s spending this year on the sidelines as a reserve and development driver for Alpine, to whom he’s affiliated as a member of their academy, soaking up as much knowledge as he can in preparation for the eventual moment.
Due to the presence of Esteban Ocon, who is under contract until the end of 2024, and Fernando Alonso, Alpine currently have no room at the inn.
If such an opportunity arises, a ‘loan’ move for Piastri appears to be a possibility, and Alpine previously promised to make him available to McLaren if Daniel Ricciardo had not recovered from Covid in time to compete in the Bahrain Grand Prix – which he did.
However, in his post-race Ted’s Notebook for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Kravitz speculated that Piastri, 21, would make his way onto the Formula One grid with Williams next season.
“One of the latest paddock rumours has Williams interested in the services of Oscar Piastri,” said Kravitz during the programme he presents.”
“This is for next year. I know I said [recently] you might see Oscar Piastri potentially at Aston Martin, but it seems I was wrong about that and actually Oscar Piastri/Alpine are looking at Williams potentially as a place for him next year.”
“I don’t know if that will be in place of Alex Albon or Nicholas Latifi as both are very happy and ensconced within this team at Williams, but it’s one to look out for later in the season.”
Williams had George Russell on a loan agreement from Mercedes from 2019-2021, and after a pair of blank seasons, he scored 16 points in the final of those three seasons.
This season, they’ve paired Latifi with Alex Albon, who replaced Russell after arriving from Red Bull – though his former team still has a future option on him.
Albon has outpaced Latifi in every race this season, and his 10th-place finish in the Australian Grand Prix earned Williams their first point of 2022.
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi confirmed recently he would be open to loaning Piastri, saying: “If it’s a solution that allows me to get him back at some point, I might think about it. I’m not opposed to the solution.
“You understand I want to develop Oscar – I don’t want to leave him sitting on the bench waiting forever.”