Daniel Ricciardo could very well be left without a Formula 1 seat in 2023, according to former driver Ralf Schumacher.
The German admits there are “a lot of rumours” swirling about amid the saga surrounding Oscar Piastri, with Alpine likely to lose the reigning F2 champion to McLaren.
“They (Alpine) wanted to put him somewhere else for a year or two,” Schumacher told Sky Deutschland.
He says Fernando Alonso’s shock switch to Aston Martin for 2023 caught Alpine by surprise but essentially it is “a crime” for the Renault-owned team to “let him go”.
“If you can’t get the contracts right, you can’t blame a young man like that. I like Otmar (Szafnauer), but he should be disappointed with himself and not having a plan B.
“Oscar didn’t do anything wrong,” Schumacher insisted. “Why should he have to wait? I would have done the same if I had received an offer.
“Now we can only hope that the bad loser – Alpine in this case – doesn’t put obstacles in the boy’s way. All they had to do was give him a contract.
“What we see now could just be about a bit of monetary compensation from McLaren.”
As for who Alpine will ultimately pair with Esteban Ocon, Schumacher thinks his nephew Mick – linked with the exit at Haas – is in the frame.
“Mick hasn’t signed a contract yet, so he is a candidate. A candidate with speed, as we have seen,” said Ralf.
“Then there’s the question of Daniel Ricciardo, but personally I can’t see him getting another chance in Formula 1.”