Formula 1 news: Back in September, in typical Kimi fashion, Kimi Raikkonen announced that he will be retiring from F1 at the end of this season. Suddenly, all hell broke loose.
Just days later, it was announced that another Finnish would be replacing him. Not Mika, but Valtteri Bottas, instead. With that sorted, all the attention was on that second seat, the only seat remaining in F1 for at least next year.
FYI, Antonio Giovinazzi is yet to sign a contract with Alfa Romeo for next season. Enter Oscar Piastri.
Oscar, an Aussie just like Webber, is also managed by the former Red Bull driver. Some might argue that there are some favours to be asked, but I don’t think so. Now, the Aussie feels the current shenanigans at Alfa favour his ‘neighbour’ Piastri.
Formula 1 news: Why Oscar and not somebody else like Giovinazzi?
First and foremost, Piastri is fast. He’s currently leading F2 in just his first year with six races yet to run.
Secondly, because Frederic Vasseur, Alfa’s team boss, likes him. The situation here is very complex – Fred wants someone like Oscar, but Oscar himself is an Alpine-backed driver.
“I don’t think it’s going to be me. I don’t know much about it, which is a fair indication that I’m not really in contention“, said Piastri. “Being with Alpine, there’s no engine link with Alfa Romeo at all, so it’s not a conventional route to that seat.”
Mind you, both Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon have been resigned by Alpine for next year, so that chance is already gone for Oscar.
However, it is also said that he is well in contention for that second seat at Alfa, even though there is still a chance that Antonio might even take it.
Current F2 runner-up, Guanyu Zhou, also a part of Alpine, is too believed to be in the running especially because of the huge financial backing he would come with, something Frederic won’t mind, at all.
Formula 1 news: Mark Webber certainly seems confident enough
“The Alfa seat is moving around. We’ve seen now Andretti floating around, in terms of maybe investment,” Webber said. “It’s an interesting last seat in terms of dynamic, but does he deserve to be in F1? Absolutely. We all know that.“
“It’s going to be an interesting few months. Nothing is sorted yet, there’s still a few shenanigans to be sorted out, and that could fall in his favour.”
However, worth pointing out that should the deal not go through, Piastro could still be in the scene and head out in several FP1 sessions in Alpine colours.
Nobody knows, except the concerned parties, who will take that last seat, but if you ask me, it should be Antonio Giovinazzi. The Italian has a lot to learn and offer and deserves a seat.
Speaking of deserving a seat, if Giovinazzi isn’t taken on board, then eyes-shut it should be Mick Schumacher. He is quick, and he deserves a better car than what Haas is currently offering. Sadly, that too cannot happen.