Colton Herta could join Alpine for a test at the Hungaroring next week to gain further Formula 1 experience while the team evaluates potential candidates for a 2023 race seat.
Alpine has a test with its 2021 car planned in Budapest that was originally scheduled to include more running for reserve driver Oscar Piastri, but his impending departure to McLaren means the team can use the track time to look at other options. Alpine academy driver Jack Doohan is one who will get another run in the A521 — having previously done so earlier this year — and he is likely to be joined by Nyck de Vries after his impressive debut outing for Williams in the Italian Grand Prix.
While de Vries has a Super License and managed to show his potential at Monza, Alpine could also provide some track time for Herta — who tested a 2021 car for McLaren earlier this year — as uncertainty over his future continues.
The Andretti Autosport driver is still being courted by Red Bull, which wants to put him in an AlphaTauri seat next year, in turn releasing Pierre Gasly to Alpine. While the French constructor wants to keep its options open, allowing Herta to drive could provide evidence of his potential against other Super License holders trying to get a seat in F1, and would also allow Red Bull to gain further insight into his current level in recent machinery.
Although plans remain flexible, RACER understands reports that Sebastian Vettel will be involved in the test to be false, and Mick Schumacher is similarly not expected to drive despite his expected availability for 2023 as Haas holds discussions with potential replacements, including fellow German Nico Hulkenberg.
Prior to next week’s test, Alpine is also running its 2022 car at Monza this week as part of a filming day that includes 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve and his Canal+ co-presenter Julien Febreau.