Yes, the prospect of seeing a 100% French duo in Formula 1 next season, formed by Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, is something to delight fans. Especially since in terms of marketing, for the Alpine brand, all dressed in blue, it would make sense, even with a view to spreading beyond French borders. History to affirm a little more its identity. On the experience side, same observation, such a duo would have something to dream about, namely, two experienced pilots, one of whom would return from an epic with Red Bull F1 and Alpha Tauri, knowing the Honda engine perfectly.
F1: Pierre Gasly, a short-term choice for Alpine?
Yes but now, in terms of pure potential and future, it is not superfluous to wonder if Alpine F1 would really make the right choice, betting everything on the recruitment of Gasly. Remember that initially, after the unexpected departure of Fernando Alonso, Management had set its sights on Oscar Piastri. A choice for the future, therefore, and of high velocity, a priori. So why not try, from the outset, to recruit another future nugget of Formula 1? As such, Nyck de Vries may be the perfect candidate.
Because, unlike Piastri, the Dutchman had the chance to demonstrate his talent (at Monza, with Williams), which is now obvious. Knowing that before having completed a Grand-Prix, no driver, however swift he may be in secondary categories, can give the guarantee that he will be effective in the premier category of motorsport. Many stars of F2/GP2 or others have already burned their wings there. So why not bet on the young driver in question, who has another particularity, that of being less expensive than a Pierre Gasly? Knowing that with Ocon, Alpine already has a driver that is both fast and reliable, on which to rely. The idea of associating a young person with it to enable it to learn and progress, with a view to hatching within one or two years, would therefore make sense.
But obviously, Alpine F1 does not want to bet on the medium or long term. A strategy that defends itself. Especially since after the departure of Fernando Alonso, the Enstone team found itself without a leader with the experience of a world champion. It remains to be determined whether Pierre will have the necessary consistency to embody the man for the job. Not to mention the tensions it could generate with Esteban, although it could also turn into a healthy rivalry.
Clearly, the situation of Alpine F1 is far from ideal. But its future will also depend on the competitiveness of the next single-seater. Because, obviously, in the event that the next blue Formula 1 would be able to fight for podiums, the two Frenchmen would be quite capable of doing the job. There remains the question of the future, unless Alpine is already planning not to drag on in the premier category, which would change the situation…
Article published on 09/20/2022 at 6:25 a.m.