Alpine expect Australian star Oscar Piastri will be racing in Formula One next year.
The team principal Otmar Szafnauer made the announcement on Saturday but didn’t indicate which team it would be with.
Piastri won the Formula Two championship last year, after also taking the Formula Three title at the first attempt, and he’s the reserve driver at Renault-owned Alpine behind double world champion Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
The 21-year-old has been linked in particular to Mercedes-powered Williams, but Alpine offered him to McLaren as a possible stand-in earlier in the year.
Asked at the Canadian Grand Prix whether he thought Piastri would be racing in F1 next year, Szafnauer replied: “Yes.”
Pressed on the subject, he added: “We don’t talk about the details of our contracts with drivers.
“But when I do say yes, that’s the plan.”
Ocon has a contract at Alpine until 2024 but Alonso, 40, is out of contract at the end of the year although he is performing strongly and keen on staying.
“We are contracted with Oscar, we have some options on him so there is no real need to hurry that,” said Szafnauer.
Alpine have a detailed preparation programme planned for Piastri this season and he recently tested a 2021 car at Silverstone.
Williams team principal Jost Capito said the Melbourne driver was certainly on their list.