Ralf Schumacher undecided on Alpine's driver options, but says Ricciardo's time is up

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Ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher feels that Daniel Ricciardo won't find it easy to get a 2023 F1 seat if he is replaced at McLaren by youngster Oscar Piastri.

The 21-year-old Piastri is the current Formula 2 champion and is reportedly going to be part of the McLaren team for the 2023 season at the expense of Ricciardo.

Since joining McLaren in 2021, Ricciardo has never done well in the car and has been way below his teammate Lando Norris in performances.

Daniel Ricciardo,mclaren,f1,formula 1,formula one
Daniel Ricciardo

'Mick should be a candidate'

Despite Ricciardo being linked with a move to Alpine, Schumacher told Sky Germany that he thinks the 33-year-old Australian could have competed in his last F1 season in 2022.

"The names are there, with every cockpit," Schumacher told Sky Germany when gauging who could fill the vacant Alpine seat. "Mick (Schumacher, Ralf's nephew) has also not yet signed a contract.

"Therefore, he would be a candidate. A candidate with speed, as you have seen. Nico Hulkenberg is also still in the starting blocks. And then there is the question of Daniel Ricciardo.

"Personally, I can't imagine that he would get another chance in F1. But I don't know who Alpine should take at the moment."

READ: Predicting how the 2023 F1 grid could shape up after 'Alonso's middle finger to Alpine'

Mick Schumacher,haas,f1,formula 1,formula one
Mick Schumacher

Piastri not to blame

Schumacher waded into the Alpine/Piastri standoff over the way the F1 team had handled the issue and did not blame the young Australian for choosing not to drive for them.

When Aston Martin surprised everyone three weeks ago, confirming that Fernando Alonso would be driving for them in 2023, Alpine then announced he would be replaced by their reserve driver Piastri. Two hours after that announcement, Piastri refuted those claims via his social media account. Then, not long after, McLaren confirmed they had an agreement in place with Piastri.

READ: OPINION | Alpine dug its own hole... and neither Alonso nor Piastri are to blame

"One thing was clear: Alpine had no interest at the beginning of putting Piastri in the car next year, because you have seen that young drivers need a certain amount of time [until they arrive in F1]," Schumacher said.

"They wanted to accommodate him somewhere else for one to two years. There was an option on the part of Alpine to [sign him for 2023], but this was not pulled because Fernando Alonso was not expected to leave. If you have such a jewel, it is criminal to let it go. If you are not able to design the contracts correctly yourself, then you cannot blame the young man.

"One thing must not be forgotten: Piastri's manager Mark Webber has a very, very close connection to McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl."

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Oscar Piastri
Reigning Formula 2 champion, Oscar Piastri

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