Alpine Is Open to Sending Junior Drivers to Other Teams in The Future

Shloke Sarkar

French Formula One Team Renault, which has been rebranded to Alpine for the 2021 season, recently launched its 2021 academy, with three out of its 5 drivers racing in F2 in 2021.

These drivers include Guanyu Zhou and Christian Lundgaard, who will be returning to F2 racing for UNI Virtuosi and ART Grand Prix Racing respectively. Oscar Piasti is graduating to F2 this year, after winning in F3.

What DoesAlpine Have in Store for the Junior Drivers?

Alpine Academy’s director, Mia Sharizman stated that both Zhou and Lundgaard are expected to battle it out for the F2 title this year, after struggling to win last year.

In terms of placement, however, in case a driver does win F2 this year, they might not have a seat at Alpine, since the lineup consists of Fernando Alonso, who returns from his retirement and Esteban Ocon, who is out of contract in the end of 2021. One of these drivers might replace Ocon, but it is not confirmed and rumours do not indicate any hints towards the same.

In comparison, Ferrari is capable of drafting its drivers to Alfa Romeo and Haas, whilst Mercedes has placed George Russell in Williams. McLaren, the only Renault customer, switched to Mercedes this year, meaning Alpine no longer has any connection with the teams present in the grid.

What Does The Director of Alpine Have to Say?

In relation to this situation, Mia Sharizman agreed that this does not make it easier for the team, but it was confident that other teams should be able to help in terms of placing junior drivers, even without any affiliation in place.

“It is something that we have identified, ways and means to ultimately get the drivers to our seat,” said Sharizman.“Without a power unit supply or without any connections, there can still be a collaboration between other teams. I won’t divulge too much into it.

“But having said that, we focus on what we have, we focus on the two race seats that we have, the academy that we have, and the tools that we have.

“Obviously, going into our team is the priority. But we believe that there is still room for collaboration with other teams, irrespective of the power unit supply.”

Even though the team has a trio of Juniors gunning for F1, Sharizman feels each of them are in different stages of their career.“The three of them are three different years, going into the championship.

You have Zhou in his third year, Christian in his second year, and obviously Oscar is a rookie,” said Sharizman to Motorsport.com “It’s slightly a different proposition, and a different way of planning. “It will bring the situation similar to what Ferrari has gone through last year.

But at the moment, we do feel that for example in the case of Oscar, it would take time, but without that expectation, we are aware of how he can progress. “We have to have a Plan A and a Plan B already for now.

That is something that is in the back of our mind. We think it will be OK for us, and we can manage it well, and how we can ensure that the three drivers that we have get up to where they want to be.”

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