Oscar Piastri has denied Alpine’s claims they have signed him for Formula 1 2023 and insists – in a dramatic turn to the sport’s ‘silly season’ transfer – that he will drive elsewhere instead.
Alpine have said that Piastri, who is currently their reserve driver, is being promoted to replace Fernando Alonso.
Press Release There were no quotes from Piastri, fueling talk that the prized Australian had not been consulted.
Hours later on Tuesday night, Piastri took to social media to say that Alpine did not have his permission to confirm his signing and, immensely, that he would not be driving for the French team that made his career.
Piastri said: “I understand that, without my consent, Alpine F1 has issued a press release this afternoon that I will drive for them next year.
“This is wrong and I have not signed with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
There was much speculation that Piastri would drive for McLaren in 2023, with the Woking team contacting the 21-year-old before Alpine knew they had space.
Alpine, however, believes Piastri has a contractual obligation to drive them next year.
Sky Sports News was informed that Piastri’s terms activation deadline and his confirmation as an Alpine driver expired two days ago, on July 31st – but this has not been confirmed by Alpine.
Williams and McLaren have been interested in Piastri if the circumstances are right, but only the ex can currently make the move for him – with Nicholas Latifi’s deal yet to be renewed.
Why did Piastri reject Alpine, and now what?
When Alonso made a surprising move to Aston Martin on Monday, Alpine quickly turned their attention to Piastri – although earlier on Tuesday morning team boss Otmar Szafnauer admitted there was no deal.
Shortly after, Alpine announced that Piastri would drive them from “2023 onwards” for partner Esteban Ocon.
But Piastri has other plans, and his bomb represents a notable turning point in the driver market.
Piastri has been part of the Renault junior academy for four years, during which time he has won Formula Three and Formula Two titles, following in the venerable footsteps of Charles Leclerc and George Russell.
He missed out on a seat for 2022 and became Alpine’s reserve driver instead, despite his reputation to the point that he seems to have had several teams vying for his signature. who have never raced in F1.
Williams is in high demand, while if Piastri moves to McLaren it will put Daniel Ricciardo’s future in huge doubt.
Ricciardo has had a worse record since joining McLaren in 2021 and, while he insists he will view his contract through 2023, McLaren has hinted at having the ‘option’ to leave early.
If Ricciardo loses his seat, he could make a surprise return to the Renault family. Ricciardo joined McLaren from Renault, before the team adopted the high-performance sub-brand name Alpine.
Di Resta: He definitely signed somewhere else
Sky Sports’ Paul Di Resta was shocked by the news that Piastri would not be driving for Alpine and admitted he hasn’t even heard any rumors about Alonso leaving the team.
Di Resta said: “Yes, it is very odd. I think the whole stadium was taken by surprise yesterday going into the summer break when the silly season started with the driver contracts.”
“Fernando is going to Aston, I haven’t heard that anywhere, I don’t believe my colleagues are and that also took Otmar Szafnauer by surprise.
“That led to what clearly happened to Piastri, who was a student of Alpine.
“They’ve been lobbying for him, saying how good he is and how that position will go up and even trying to get him into Formula 1 because he’s an asset to them in the race. future.
“Now, the statement he’s made, I find it very surprising that he’s turned down a team in the top four and a great upward trajectory, which you wouldn’t want to drive for them.”
With Piastri making such a strong statement, Di Resta believes he must definitely secure a seat with another team for next season as he thinks Alonso will stay at Alpine in 2023.
“It can only mean he’s got another guaranteed seat somewhere else,” he added.
“Where is he going to drive? Is it McLaren? Is it Williams? Where does that make Daniel Ricciardo go?”
“I’m very uncertain where that would be.
“You’ve got this junior to be greatly appreciated for what he did in the junior categories and left him on the sidelines and now he’s raced and invested all the testing. this into many different circuits.
“Getting him into a car was what Alpine had but he clearly felt he was going to have to drive somewhere else.
“He obviously made that decision thinking that Alonso was going to stay and it felt like he was part of the furniture and it would be obvious that he kept going.
“I feel he will be loaned out to another team, maybe a Williams to take him in as George Russell and I can see that as a path and a bright future.
“He will be recognized for the sport whatever car he is using because his off-road driving can speak and he will become an asset to the racing market and Formula 1 driver, that’s just where he’s going to be located right now. We’re all sitting on the fence.”