Although Alpine are the only power unit manufacturing outfit on the grid without a customer team in 2021, the team is looking to collaborate with non-customer outfits in order to change that.
The newly rebranded outfit unveiled the five drivers that will make up the Alpine Academy for 2021, with Oscar Piastri, Guanyu Zhou, Christian Lundgaard, Victory Martins and Caio Collett in the mix.
While Piastri, Zhou and Lundgaard will take part in the upcoming Formula 2 series, Alpine don't have a customer team on the current F1 grid, making their step up to the series in 2022 all the more challenging.
However Alpine Academy director Mia Sharizman has revealed that talks are already ongoing regarding a landing spot for their young drivers, citing Esteban Ocon's career as an example of collaboration between manufacturers.
“I won't divulge too much, but yes, we are actively in discussions with various teams that are a potential with regards to drivers, not necessarily with connecting of power units and stuff like that," Sharizman told Formula1.com.
“In the case of us, we have Esteban who is with Merc. So for us, we are actively looking into that, and especially this year, when we have three drivers [Piastri, Lundgaard and Zhou] who are, we would say, on the verge of a role in Formula 1, whether it's a reserve role or a race role.
“We all know timing is everything in terms of moving up the ladder. We are at the stage where we have three drivers in Formula 2 who are capable of fighting, or challenging for the title, and yes we have been looking and anticipating... starting from this year, '21, '22, '23, to place them [in F1]."
Alpine's 2021 Formula 1 driver lineup will feature Ocon and the returning Fernando Alonso, who last drove in the series for McLaren back in 2018.