Alpine and McLaren have reached an agreement on Oscar Piastri potentially watching the race in Australia for the latter if a replacement driver is needed.
Piastri is currently Alpine’s reserve driver, having won the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship as part of its junior academy.
Prior to his success in F2, Piastri won the FIA Formula 3 Series in 2020 and was touted as a future full-time Formula 1 driver.
McLaren has no official reserve driver but has had options on Mercedes reserves Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries for the past two years.
However, Piastri could now be called on by McLaren should a driver be needed this year to fill in for Daniel Ricciardo or Lando Norris.
“In the spirit of providing our stable of young talent with maximum racing opportunities, we have agreed that McLaren may bring in Alpine F1 Team reserve driver Oscar Piastri should one of their drivers be unable to drive,” Alpine said in a statement.
“Oscar remains under full contract with Alpine and we retain initial options on his services.”
Ricciardo is currently in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 on Friday night but is expected to be cleared to race next weekend.
In addition to Vandoorne and de Vries, McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl confirmed on Saturday that ex-F1 driver Paul di Resta is also an option for the Woking team.