Ladies and Gentlemen! As we said in our last piece, the next episode of the Oscar Piastri vs Alpine Saga is here! (even if we did not expect it to be released this soon).
Hours after Alpine announced that Piastri would replace Fernando Alonso at the French outfit, the Australian came out on his social media and claimed that the team had put out a press release without his agreement. Piastri also declared that he would not be driving for Alpine next season.
In his post on social media, Piastri wrote:
“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
In a press release made just hours ago by Alpine, the team announced that Oscar Piastri would be partnering with Esteban Ocon for the 2023 F1 season. In the said press release, the team stated:
“2023 driver line-up confirmed: Esteban Ocon Oscar Piastri, After four years as part of the Renault and Alpine family, Reserve Driver Oscar Piastri is promoted to a race seat alongside Esteban Ocon starting from 2023.”
Alpine had assured earlier that Oscar Piastri can't leave them for McLaren
Earlier, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnaeur had assured that Oscar Piastri had a legal obligation to drive for Alpine in 2023. He also claimed that the Australian could not go and drive for McLaren even if he did have a pre-arrangement with them.
“I’m not privy to whatever pre-arrangements he has with McLaren, if any at all. But I hear the same rumours that you do in the pitlane. But what I do know is that he does have contractual obligations to us. And we do to him. And we’ve been honouring those obligations all year. And those obligations, last through ‘23, and possibly in ‘24, if some options are taken up.”
“And our obligations to him this year was to be a reserve driver, to also put him in last year’s car for a significant amount of time. We’re well over half that programme of 5000 kilometres, which isn’t insignificant, in last year’s car, in preparation for a race next year.”
“Also FP1s, simulation work, and we’ve been performing those obligations on both sides. So he’s been performing, we’ve been performing. So therefore we do have a legal contract with him into the future for ‘23. And if an option is taken up, for ‘24. So I don’t know what he’s done with McLaren. Like I said, I’m not privy to that.”
As we mentioned earlier, if the Australian does have a legal obligation to drive for Alpine, such a move could end up in a legal court, which could make things very messy. Stay tuned for more because rest assured, there is a lot that could be coming your way.