Alpine eyes Gasly as Marko lines up Herta for AlphaTauri F1 role

In an even more unexpected development, IndyCar star Colton Herta has been linked with a future at AlphaTauri.

Publicly, Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer insists the Enstone team will not think about other drivers until the Contract Recognition Board discusses the Oscar Piastri case on Monday.

However, sources suggest Alpine have already indicated their interest in Gasly to Red Bull.

The Frenchman was confirmed for 2023 by AlphaTauri on June 24, and so any decision to get him will have to involve a deal that suits Red Bull, and inevitably a substantial payment.

While he is obviously seen as a valuable member of AlphaTauri, the bigger picture is that the Faenza team is supposed to provide future drivers for Red Bull Racing.

Gasly had his chance in 2019 before being sent back to AlphaTauri, and it is widely acknowledged in the paddock that RBR boss Christian Horner does not see a future return for the 26-year-old to the senior team .

Given this scenario, Red Bull could be open to releasing Gasly if the terms of any deal were favourable, and there was momentum behind another candidate for the AlphaTauri seat his departure would leave vacant.

Sources have said that Helmut Marko is considering Mick Schumacher, who is likely to be let go by Haas.

A move to AlphaTauri would also mean there was a top German in the Red Bull camp ahead of Porsche’s arrival on the grid in 2026.

However, it has also been suggested that Marko is interested in Andretti Autosport’s IndyCar leader Colton Herta, who also has a McLaren contract. Curiously, on Saturday afternoon at Spa, Red Bull’s motorsport boss was seen in conversation with McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

One obvious problem is that Herta currently does not have a super-license that would allow it to race in F1 in 2023.

But if that is resolved except for the FIA ​​and McLaren releases Herta, Gasly would be free to move to Alpine, and that in turn would relieve McLaren in terms of Oscar Piastri’s situation.

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IndyCar star Colton Herta tested the 2021 McLaren MCL35M at Portimao this year as part of his deal with the Woking team.

Photo by: McLaren

Even if Herta is unable to race in 2023 and Gasly stays with AlphaTauri, the American could still join the Red Bull camp in a tester role for future graduation.

A complication in any deal with Alpine is that Gasly is known to have a difficult relationship with compatriot Esteban Ocon, his potential team-mate.

If Piastri and Gasly are ultimately unavailable, Alpine could run out of potential candidates.

While Daniel Ricciardo is an obvious option, the Australian is known to have upset the management of Renault when he left for McLaren after just two seasons with the team in 2019 and 2020. However, sources suggest the situation could be overcome.

Aston Martin reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg, who drove for Renault in 2018 and 2019, is another possibility. The German, who raced for Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer at Force India, Racing Point and Aston, will be seen as a pair of safe hands.

He is also reportedly ready to accept a one-year contract, potentially freeing up a seat for anyone else who may be available in 2023 – including Gasly.

Schumacher and Mercedes Formula E driver Nyck de Vries are also in the hunt for 2023 seats, while Sauber/Alfa Romeo junior Theo Pourchaire could also be an outside bet and give Alpine a chance to bring in another French youngster. alongside Esteban Ocon.

Ocon noted Thursday at Spa that he would be happy with any teammate.

“I mean, it doesn’t matter at the end who’s next to me,” he said. “I will keep the work I am doing now with my team, continue to understand the car and the progress we have made since. I joined the team in 2020. It’s been huge.

“And of course, I’m a very different driver than I was. I know a lot more now about the team, the car and how to use the machine I have in my hands.

“I’m happy with where it’s going. Again, no matter who’s with me next year, I’ll keep doing the job I’m doing, and as long as I’m happy with the performance and the way it’s going, so I don’t need to change or worry about the other side.”

However, he admitted he would like to see his friend Schumacher get the job: “It’s not my decision. But yes, I would be very happy to work with Mick. He’s a good friend of mine. So again, the team is up to them, not me. But yes, if it ends like that, it will be a great race for sure.”

Alpine eyes Gasly as Marko lines up Herta for AlphaTauri F1 role

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