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Alpine 'shootout' for 2025 seat heats up F1 silly season

Alpine 'shootout' for 2025 seat heats up F1 silly season
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As the frenzy of the 2005 driver 'silly season' intensifies, even with the rapid succession of races from Barcelona to Austria during an arduous F1 triple-header, the saga continues unabated.

As the frenzy of the 2005 driver 'silly season' intensifies, even with the rapid succession of races from Barcelona to Austria during an arduous F1 triple-header, the saga continues unabated.

The headline event is the upcoming test of a 2022 car at Paul Ricard by Mick Schumacher and Jack Doohan, the primary candidates to take over Esteban Ocon's role at Alpine next season. This event has been dubbed a 'shootout' by the press.

According to Auto Motor und Sport, "Mercedes had to give Mick and Alpine permission, but this was apparently just a formality."

As confirmed by the Brackley based team, "they would be happy to allow Schumacher to do a test run with a rival team if it gives its reserve driver the chance to return to a regular cockpit."

Ralf Schumacher is optimistic that his nephew Mick's ties with new Alpine team advisor Flavio Briatore might enhance the young German's prospects.

"Flavio wants to see performance first," he stated to Sport1, "That is crucial. But it is certainly not a disadvantage that there are still good contacts with the family."

"A real test is important, not all this simulator driving," Ralf further emphasized.

In recent comments made in Barcelona, Briatore acknowledged that Pierre Gasly is performing well, helping him maintain his position, even though Gasly is also rumored to be in talks with Audi.

"In the short-term, we have Pierre Gasly," Briatore mentioned to La Gazzetta dello Sport, "We are also following numerous young drivers. I won't say who they are, but they are all very good."

Last weekend in Barcelona, Briatore was also seen in discussion with Carlos Sainz's father, Carlos Sainz snr. The soon-to-be Ferrari refugee, 29, is reportedly also considering a move to Williams.

Following their altercation at the Spanish GP, Sainz's teammate Charles Leclerc was quoted by Blick newspaper saying, "We all know the difficult situation Carlos is in. I'm not angry with him even if it was a bit unnecessary."

Sainz hinted that a decision regarding his future might be revealed soon, possibly this week or during the upcoming weekend in Austria. "Could be," he noted, "I'm not certain, but it could be."

Regarding the outgoing Alpine driver Ocon, it seems his most probable option for 2025 is with Haas, although he would prefer to take over Lewis Hamilton's position at Mercedes, as he is managed by his agent Toto Wolff.

"At the moment, I don't think that will happen," Wolff remarked.

"We want to delay the decision as long as possible to remain flexible," he added. "I don't think we'll make a decision until November."

Elsewhere, if Red Bull does not give Liam Lawson his full-time Formula 1 debut with the junior team RB for 2025, he will be free to explore a reported opportunity with Audi-Sauber, pending developments.

This comes as Daniel Ricciardo's future hangs in the balance, awaiting a possible new contract.

"Obviously I would like to stay," the Australian stated, "but I obviously want to earn it. So it's up to me to make sure that I can keep pulling it out."

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