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Davide Brivio suggests that shortage of customer teams makes promotion of Alpine drivers to F1 difficult

Fernando Alonso. Credits: Alpine F1 Team.

Davide Brivio recently admitted how difficult it will be for Alpine to give a shot in Formula 1 to its academy drivers if they can’t find a customer team quickly.

Alpine will start the 2021 season with three of its academy drivers lining up in Formula 2, namely Chrisitan Lundgaard driving for ART, Guanyu Zhou with UNI-Virtuosi, and Oscar Piastri with Prema. Moreover, the three of them will be driving for teams that have already shown in 2020 that they can realistically fight for the F2 championship.

Last year, Fernando Alonso signed a two-year contract with Alpine. This means that if the French team wants to sign one of its academy drivers in 2022, they would need to fire Esteban Ocon or find themselves a customer team. The former Mercedes reserve driver will therefore have a lot to play for in 2021 as his seat in Formula 1 already looks threatened. On the other hand, if the team does not sign either Guanyu Zhou or Chrisitan Lundgaard, there is a big likelihood that we see them leave F2 due to financial issues like we have seen this year with Calum Illott.

“It’s quite obvious, the fact that we don’t have a partner team makes things a little bit more difficult because the young drivers [would have to] be included in our Alpine main team,” said Davide Brivio, Alpine’s racing director.

The former MotoGP team boss looks concerned about Alpine’s young driver’s situation. Indeed, if the team does not manage to find a solution and give a chance to one of its young drivers, it would make the meaning of having a driver development program questionable for the Enstone-based team and might even give an end to the Alpine Driver Academy.

Last but not least, we cannot forget about the rumors surrounding Pierre Gasly. Indeed, the Frenchman signed a one-year deal with Alpha Tauri for 2021. Nevertheless, after winning the Italian Grand Prix in 2020, Pierre Gasly’s value on the F1 market has exploded and he is now definitely seeking a contract with a team that will allow him to fight for the championship at some point in his career. Right before the new era of Formula One, Alpine almost looks like the perfect opportunity for Gasly if he does not manage to come back to Red Bull.

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