Pierre Gasly to race for Alpine, Nyck de Vries takes Alpha Tauri seat as 2023 F1 grid fills up

Pierre Gasly will race for Alpine from the 2023 Formula 1 season, with Nyck de Vries locking down the newly-vacated seat at Alpha Tauri.

Replacing the departing Fernando Alonso, Gasly joins the Renault-owned team on a multi-year deal and will form an all-French line-up alongside Esteban Ocon.

De Vries will partner with Yuki Tsunoda at Alpha Tauri after the Dutchman impressed as Williams’ reserve driver at Monza this year.

This leaves Haas and Williams as the only two teams yet to confirm their driver pairings for the 2023 season, with one seat available at each constructor. 

Pierre Gasly confirmed as Fernando Alonso’s replacement at Alpine

Despite being contracted with Alpha Tauri for 2023, Gasly was granted an early release by his current employers to join Alpine.

The seat opened up when Fernando Alonso announced his move to Aston Martin for 2023, with Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri viewed as the likely replacement.

However, a messy contractual saga saw Piastri sign with McLaren for the next season, leaving Alpine on the hunt for a driver.

Daniel Ricciardo was rumoured to return to his former team, but Gasly was ultimately selected to partner with Ocon.

The 26-year-old has had a tumultuous F1 career thus far, notably being dropped by Red Bull mid-way through the 2019 season.

Gasly made his debut with Toro Rosso – now Alpha Tauri – in 2017 before earning a promotion to the senior Red Bull team two years later.

Out-scored 181 points to 63 by Max Verstappen in the first 13 races of 2019, Gasly was demoted back to Toro Rosso and replaced by Alex Albon.

He then remained with the team through their Alpha Tauri re-brand, famously winning the 2020 Italian Grand Prix – his only career win to date.

Why did football journalist Fabrizio Romano report on the Gasly deal?

In an unexpected crossover, well-known football insider and transfer guru Fabrizio Romano revealed that Gasly had signed with Alpine hours before the official announcement.

Whilst it is unclear exactly why Romano suddenly dipped his toes into F1 news, there are suggestions that the announcement could have been part of a PR campaign, with Alpine quick to reply to Romano’s tweet.

It is also worth noting that Gasly is a passionate football fan, so the tweet certainly makes sense in that context.

Nyck de Vries finally earns spot on F1 grid

Despite becoming Formula 2 champion in 2019, de Vries failed to secure an F1 seat the following season.

However, he was able to continue to prove his racing pedigree, winning the 2020-21 Formula E championship with Mercedes. 

The 27-year-old’s F1 break came this year when he filled in for Williams driver Alex Albon as a loan driver at the Italian Grand Prix. 

He out-qualified teammate Nicholas Latifi before going on to finish ninth and score points in his debut race.

The Dutchman’s impressive performance caught the eye of the F1 paddock and has now helped him secure a seat at Alpha Tauri.

His teammate for 2023 – Yuki Tsunoda – recently extended his contract through to next season.

Which seats are still open for the 2023 F1 season?

The respective announcements of Gasly and De Vries leave just two seats open for 2023 – one at Williams and one at Haas.

Both those constructors have spent the past few seasons at the rear of the grid and will have to decide whether to select a young driver with high potential, or a more experienced driver who could secure consistent results.

Mick Schumacher is currently at Haas but has also been rumoured with the seat at Williams if he isn’t re-signed by his current team.

After being released by McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo is still looking for a 2023 drive, with his name regularly discussed in F1 circles.

F2 driver Logan Sargeant is also in the mix.

Notably, the American is likely to bring commercial benefits to a potential team due to his nationality and F1’s aggressive expansion into the United States.

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