Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frederic Vasseur has revealed that Oscar Piastri is unlikely to seal a spot on the 2022 Formula 1 grid due to his links with Alpine.
There is just one seat up for grabs on next year's grid, which is at Alfa Romeo. Guanyu Zhou is the favourite to be Valtteri Bottas' teammate at Alfa Romeo in 2022 but Piastri has also recently been linked to the seat.
"Oscar is doing a very good job," Vasseur told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press. "But as far as I know and I understand, he's linked with Renault, or Alpine.
"I didn't discuss with Alpine about this [Piastri's Alpine links] but if you invest in a driver for all the junior series and to have a long-term programme with him, I don't see the point to let him go to another team in F1. It would be strange.
"I think it would make much more sense to have the possibility to extend the contract, not [necessarily] a multi-year contract, but to be sure that you won't lose the driver after one year."
Piastri is currently leading the Formula 2 championship, in his rookie campaign, with two rounds remaining. He has a healthy buffer of 26 points over the rest of the field following his Feature Race victory in Sochi.
Vasseur says whoever Alfa Romeo decide to sign, a one-year deal would be a "good option" for the team and believes Piastri is "one of the young kids that will be successful in F1" in the future.
"First of all, Oscar so far he's leading the championship, but he's not champion. It could be the situation that he could do another season in F2," added Vasseur.
"For sure, each year the situation is different with a different number of seats in F1 and a different situation on the driver side.
"I think that Renault helped him to do the steps between Formula Renault, Formula 3, Formula 2. They are supportive with him and it would be a bit unfair to complain about the situation.
"But you had a couple of drivers in the past doing one year of testing or one year of F2 again, if he's not champion, and then he will be successful in F1. But it's not because he won't jump in F1 next year, that it's the end of the world."