Armstrong, Caldwell to test for Alpine as both in contention for 2023 WEC drive

Alpine will test Formula 2 drivers Marcus Amstrong and Olli Caldwell in an LMP2 car in Bahrain on Sunday to evaluate them for a World Endurance Championship seat next season.

Marcus Armstrong,  Hitech Grand Prix

Both drivers will get a chance to sample an ORECA 07 for the first time a day after the final race outing of the Alpine A480-Gibson in the top division in the WEC finale at the Bahrain International Circuit.

It comes ahead of Alpine’s expected single-year campaign in the LMP2 division of the WEC, where it could field as many as two examples of the ORECA 07 prototype that it previously ran in the 2017 and 2018-19 seasons under the Signatech-Alpine banner.

Alpine WEC team boss Philippe Sinault made it clear that both drivers will be in consideration for its 2023 WEC programme depending upon how they perform in the one-day post-season test.

“Each time a driver is driving my car I'm trying to evaluate them,” Sinault told Autosport.

“If they will drive the car on Sunday because they have potential for something for sure.”

While Alpine's current Hypercar drivers Nicolas Lapierre, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Andre Negrao are expected to be retained next year ahead of the French marque's return to the top class with an-all new LMDh contender for 2023, the squad will need additional drivers should a second LMP2 entry be accepted by WEC promoter ACO.

Alpine must also have one silver-rated driver in any LMP2 entries as per the sporting regulations of the WEC.

#1 Richard Mille Racing Team Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2: Lilou Wadoux, Paul-Loup Chatin, Charles Milesi

#1 Richard Mille Racing Team Oreca 07 - Gibson LMP2: Lilou Wadoux, Paul-Loup Chatin, Charles Milesi

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Caldwell was a new addition to the Alpine Academy this year, while Amstrong hasn’t been associated with any manufacturer since he split with Ferrari at the end of the 2021 season - his second in F2.

Armstrong sits 12th in the F2 standings ahead of next week’s finale in Abu Dhabi having scored three sprint wins so far, while Caldwell is only 21st in what is his first full campaign in the category.

Alpine may also have to run its outgoing LMP1 car for Lilou Wadoux, a graduate of the Alpine Elf Europa Cup series, and a full-season driver for the Richard Mille LMP2 team, which like Alpine is also run by Signatech.

Wadoux has been nominated by the WEC organisation for the rookie test and will drive for whichever Hypercar team ends up winning the title in Saturday’s Bahrain 8 Hours finale.

Both the #8 Toyota and Alpine’s sole crew are level on points going into this weekend’s final round.

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