Alpine is in big trouble with the Oscar Piastri saga now over. They lost the Contract Recognition Board ruling and are now having to actively search for a driver to replace the departing Fernando Alonso.
The saga started when Alonso announced his move to Aston Martin, replacing the retiring Sebastian Vettel. The French outfit was confident and thought they had the situation under control with their reserve driver Oscar Piastri.
They announced him as their driver for 2023. However, a few hours later, Piastri rebuked the team on social media and announced that he had not signed a contract with them.
The issue was taken to the Contract Recognition Board, which ruled in favor of Piastri. Piastri and McLaren later announced their partnership as the Australian will be driving for them in 2023. Alpine are now without a second driver.
2016 F1 world champion Nico Rosberg commented on the issue and said he felt sympathy for the French team. However, he added that "it was business" and they should get over it:
"Of course I have sympathy, because Otmar was touching on all the ethical matters and honourable things. But as we know, this is a business as well, and for Oscar, when the opportunity came, he’s going to take it."
Rosberg also blamed the French team for their lack of locking down Oscar Piastri to an earlier contract. He said that a driver like Piastri should be Alpine's priority for the future.
"It’s just a mistake on the legal front of Alpine. When you have a young driver like that, you have to make it absolutely rock solid the contract for five to 10 years if you invest so much money, and I can’t believe that they’ve left those loopholes in there."
After Oscar Piastri loss, Nyck de Vries on Alpine's radar
After losing Oscar Piastri to McLaren, it is reported Alpine is looking at as many as 14 drivers to potentially replace the departing Fernando Alonso. Nyck de Vries is also on their radar. The Mercedes reserve driver replaced Williams' Alex Albon for the Italian GP and scored points in his debut F1 race.
The Dutchman finished eighth in his Williams and had a phenomenal Sunday at Monza. His efforts have attracted praise from many in the paddock, with everyone saying that he deserves an F1 seat for 2023.
The French outfit will need to move quickly if it is to secure the Dutchman's signature.