Sebastian Vettel to retire from F1 at end of season
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Mick Schumacher is among the candidates to replace Fernando Alonso and claim the vacant seat at Alpine next year, according to his uncle and F1 race winner Ralf. Alpine are no closer to finding Alonso’s successor as things stand after they were sensationally snubbed by their own reserve driver, Oscar Piastri, who is reportedly set to join McLaren between now and the start of next season.
The saga involving Alpine has seen a number of drivers mentioned in connection with the French outfit as they look to appoint a new team-mate for Esteban Ocon as a matter of priority. Ralf has since insisted that Schumacher is one of several candidates in the frame to succeed Alonso, with the Spaniard having signed a multi-year deal with Aston Martin to replace the outgoing Sebastian Vettel next season.
“Mick has not yet signed a contract,” Ralf told Sky Germany when quizzed on Schumacher’s short-term future with Haas.
“Therefore, he would be a candidate, a candidate with speed as we have seen. Nico Hulkenberg is also still in the starting blocks. Then, there is the question of Daniel Ricciardo.
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“Personally, I can’t imagine that he would get another chance in Formula One. But I don’t know who Alpine should take at the moment.”
It remains to be seen who Alpine will choose to race alongside Ocon in 2023, with Ricciardo also believed to be among those on the team’s shortlist for the role. The Aussie driver was on Alpine’s books when they were known as Renault in 2019 and 2020 before leaving at the end of his contract to join McLaren, but his spell with the English outfit is reportedly set to be cut short at the end of the year as a result of his sub-par performances.
Meanwhile, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer recently suggested that as many as 14 different suitors are under consideration for the vacant seat if Oscar Piastri succeeds Ricciardo at McLaren as expected.
“The question is Alonso is going to Aston Martin, we had a contract with Piastri and we have to understand where it takes us legally,” Szafnauer told Spanish media outlet El Confidencial earlier this month.
“We believe, and that’s why we issued the statement, that we have a binding contract. We are going to spend some time looking at where this takes us.
“If Piastri is not in the car, which I think he will be, because Fernando is out, I have about 14 phone calls from drivers who are interested, because the Alpine seat is the most valuable seat left.”
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