On Thursday evening, some bad news broke in Switzerland. Fernando Alonso was reportedly knocked off his bicycle. He is said to have broken his jaw in the collision. The full extent of his injuries are yet to be reported/confirmed. With pre-season just four weeks away, there’s doubt as to whether the Spaniard will be fit to compete. If Alonso can’t start the season, the question is who can Alpine use to replace him?
There is, of course, strong hope that Alonso will recover in time for the start of the Formula 1 season and the winter tests in Bahrain. He was conscious and, according to previous reports, has not suffered any further fractures or injuries. Yet this immediately puts Alpine in a difficult situation, because the team does not have a real replacement.
Alpine may opt to give the drive to the reserve driver, interestingly enough, Sergey Sirotkin is Renault’s reserve driver. At least, he was in 2020, but nothing further has been announced since last season. So chances are that Sirotkin is the man first thought of. He has one year of experience in F1 and also the necessary license points.
Yet Sirotkin does not seem like the man you want to have in the car as an Alpine. In the past year, many experienced drivers have been pushed aside by their teams.
The next option is experienced F1 drivers without a 2021 seat.
The first name that comes up is, of course, that of Nico Hulkenberg. The German drove for Renault in the past. However, he showed that he is capable of joining last minute for Racing Point in 2020. In addition, he is not under contract with any team, which makes it attractive to bring him in for one time.
Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean each have their past at Renault and their F1 experience, but Magnussen does not have overly fond memories of the team and both are on their way to America as well. They have already managed to get a seat there and will not want to fly over for one race.
Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon also lost their seat in 2021. Albon, however, is under contract with Red Bull Racing. Kvyat may be an option for Alpine, but one that is far-fetched. It is hoped that Alpine can simply have Alonso at their disposal.