"Absolutely crystal clear they knew that"- Alpine were well aware of Oscar Piastri's links to other F1 teams, claims former F1 driver

F1 Grand Prix of Spain - Practice
Oscar Piastri prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Oscar Piastri's manager, Mark Webber, claims that Alpine were well aware of Piastri's talks with other teams. During the Dutch GP press conference at Zandvoort last week, Alpine expressed their disaffection regarding Piastri's move to McLaren. They claimed they were made aware of it much later than July 4th when it was signed. The matter went to Formula 1's Contract Recognition Board, which ruled in McLaren's favor, saying they were the only ones with a valid contract for Oscar Piastri.

Mark Webber hit back at all the allegations made by Alpine about spending millions on the Australian and securing him a 2023 seat.

Webber informed:

“The numbers have been really ballooned out of proportion. The summer break has given people a chance to throw millions and millions and millions. It’s certainly not that."
“Next week, there will be a discussion to be had, now that’s all out there. Obviously, the current has been underneath for a while that something was happening. But they knew that, absolutely crystal clear they knew that."

However, Oscar Piastri is still a reserve driver at Alpine and Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer granted talks to be held with the reigning F2 champion about the same. Mark Webber said Oscar Piastri will continue to work hard for his team and be an absolute professional, having to stay there for the remainder of the season.

Oscar Piastri opens up about dramatic episode with Alpine

In a recent interview with F1, Oscar Piastri revealed that he signed a contract with McLaren only because Alpine couldn't offer him a concrete offer for next season. The same was confirmed and ruled in McLaren's favor by the FIA's Contract Recognition Board.

“The CRB ruling has confirmed I didn’t have a contract for the 2023 season [with Alpine]. I was free to choose my destiny – and I felt McLaren was a great opportunity. They were very straightforward and very keen and enthusiastic to have me. To be completely honest, there was a lack of clarity around my future at the team at Alpine."

Alpine then announced Piastri as their driver for the 2023 season over which a lot of drama was caused between team principal Otmar Szafnauer and the reserve driver.

Piastri stated:

"It was done publicly in front of some members of the team who were oblivious to the situation and I didn't want to cause a scene in front of them. Once we were in private, I told Otmar what our position was and what he had been told multiple times before that. It was very surprising to me to make that announcement."

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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