Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has admitted that the team made a few technical legal mistakes in the Oscar Piastri fiasco. In an exclusive with F1's official website, Laurent Rossi admitted there had been a few technical errors which were a result of the team going out of its way to support Oscar Piastri. He said,
“We made some mistakes, we made some legal technical mistakes. We left the door ajar by not forcing him in with a contract that is so tight he couldn’t move."
Rossi further added, saying:
"Why did we do that? It’s a bit of an oversight because we never thought that when you give so much to someone, when you give them training, a reserve role, a seat in a partner team, he will not take it after being supported for so many years and winning the championship through your support."
The Alpine CEO also pointed out examples of other drivers like George Russell, Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, and Sebastian Vettel who first proved themselves in a junior team before getting promoted to the senior team. He said,
“Like George [Russell] before him, who went to Williams before returning to Mercedes, like Charles [Leclerc] who went to Sauber before returning to Ferrari, like Max [Verstappen] and like Sebastian [Vettel, who both raced for Toro Rosso before driving for Red Bull] – they all did a ‘junior’ team before moving up."
Alpine and Oscar Piastri do not share the same values
In the end, the Alpine CEO conceded that the kind of values displayed by Oscar Piastri did not in anyway match the team's principles and, ultimately, the marriage was destined for failure.
The Alpine CEO said,
“This is how I see the story. Of course, we made mistakes, otherwise we wouldn’t be here talking about the topic, but we feel we stayed very true to our commitment, to our values and to our words to Oscar. But I would say things happen for a reason. We’re not sharing the same conceptions of things, and perhaps not sharing the same values, so it’s perhaps better this way, to be parting ways.”
Laurent Rossi did share his surprise over the fact that Oscar Piastri thought Williams was not a team worth joining. The Alpine CEO also explained that the split was in complete incongruence with the values that the team had projected. He said,
“I’m a bit surprised that Oscar thought that first, he was better than Williams. I can understand from a sporting perspective McLaren might be more interesting based on pure on-track results than Williams, but we didn’t expect that after so much support, so much loyalty, they would use that back door to shop around and get what felt like a better contract for them. Those are not the values we exhibited."
Alpine is yet to finalize who will be the team's second driver. The team apparently has a comprehensive list of 14 drivers that include Nyck De Vries, Jack Doohan, Antonio Giovinazzi, and more. It will be interesting to see who finally makes it