“I expected more loyalty from Oscar Piastri”: Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer disgusted by $1.5 Million worth F1 driver’s switch to McLaren

Alpine Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer has bashed Academy driver Oscar Piastri for disloyalty by refusing to drive for Alpine in 2023.

Oscar Piastri set the world of F1 buzzing last week. A day earlier, Fernando Alonso made a sudden announcement that he would be driving for Aston Martin in 2023. The Spaniard signed a multi-year deal with the British team

Piastri was announced as Alpine’s replacement in 2023. But the announcement carried no quotes from the Aussie. Nor did he post it on his social media.

And a few hours later Piastri declined any notion of him driving for Alpine next year. He claimed he hadn’t signed any contract with the French team.

This huge saga has carried on. And it seems Piastri is set to join McLaren in 2023. And the reigning F2 champion will be replacing fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo.

Alpine Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer claimed that he was surprised Piastri refused to acknowledge his contract with Alpine. Szafnauer claimed Piastri signed a deal with Alpine in November.

He claimed, “We have spoken to our lawyers and they have told us that this is a binding contract. So part of that contract allows us to put Oscar in one of our cars in 2023, which is the reason we issued the press release.”

He adds, “There is also an option for 2024 and the possibility for us to ‘loan’ the driver to another team. We wanted Fernando with us for one more year and then a ‘loan’ of Oscar for 2023.”

Also Read: Oscar Piastri to replace $35 Million net worth driver at McLaren; claims Dutch source

Oscar Piastri was a key part of Alpine’s future plans

Oscar Piastri was a product of Alpine’s Driver Academy. The Aussie joined the academy in 2020. He would later win the F3 and F2 championships in 2020 and 2021 achieving both titles in his rookie year.

The young driver was one of the brightest talents. Otmar Szafnauer claimed that Piastri was a key part in their 100-race plan in order to contend for championships.

Alpine supported Piastri immensely in its development. The French team arranged the Aussie with a seat in a championship-winning team in F2 and F3 and plenty of support in simulators.

In 2023, Piastri was expected to be loaned to another team. He was set to succeed Fernando Alonso as an Alpine driver in 2024. Szafnauer is also perplexed by the young driver’s disrespectful behaviour.

“I expected more loyalty from Piastri,” Szafnauer commented.”There should be some loyalty to the fact that we have invested literally millions and millions of euros to prepare him. So I don’t understand it either, you should ask him.”

“He should have it with that team that has taken care of him. That has taken him to the World Championship. And, above all, that during the last year has put him in a Formula 1 car”

Also Read: “I am glad I left Alpine”: $1 Million a year F1 driver shares how he avoided Oscar Piastri-like situation by leaving Alpine

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