Oscar Piastri: Alpine critical of reserve driver’s ‘integrity’ after 2023 snub, discuss Daniel Ricciardo


“My wish for Oscar is he had a bit more integrity.,” Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer tells Sky Sports F1; Piastri shocked Alpine by refuting their driver announcement at the start of August and Szafnauer confirmed he has an agreement with McLaren

Last Updated: 26/08/22 6:03pm

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer says he believes current reserve driver Oscar Piastri has signed with McLaren for next season.

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Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer says he believes current reserve driver Oscar Piastri has signed with McLaren for next season.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer says he believes current reserve driver Oscar Piastri has signed with McLaren for next season.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has accused Oscar Piastri of a lack of “integrity” over his refusal to drive for the team next season and is still adamant that the young Australian is contracted for 2023.

Piastri, the highly-rated young Alpine reserve driver, is at the center of an F1 transfer storm after he refuted his team’s announcement earlier this month that he would be replacing Fernando Alonso for 2023.

McLaren and Piastri have an agreement for next season, as Szafnauer confirmed in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports F1 at the Belgian GPand the Woking team have terminated Daniel Ricciardo’s contract early.

But there is still plenty to resolve, with Piastri’s Contract Recognition Board verdict set for next week. Alpine believe they have a contract in place, while Piastri’s camp are certain he has a clause to leave.

Daniel Ricciardo sits down with Rachael Brookes to discuss his exit from McLaren.

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Daniel Ricciardo sits down with Rachael Brookes to discuss his exit from McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo sits down with Rachael Brookes to discuss his exit from McLaren.

“I think the right thing for us to do is go to the CRB on Monday, see how that pans out and then start looking at some negotiations in earnest,” Szafnauer told Sky Sports’ Rachel Brooks.

The team principal added: “He’s a promising young driver, he hasn’t driven in Formula 1 yet, and my wish for Oscar is he had a bit more integrity.

“He signed a piece a piece of paper as well back in November and we’ve done everything on our end of the bargain to prepare him for Formula 1, and his end of the bargain was to ether drive for us, or take a seat where we would place him for the next three years.

“I just wish Oscar would have remembered what he signed in November and what he signed up to.”

Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner says he is saddened by the announcement that McLaren are to replace Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 season, adding that he is 'one of the best guys' in the sport.

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Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner says he is saddened by the announcement that McLaren are to replace Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 season, adding that he is ‘one of the best guys’ in the sport.

Red Bull F1 team principal Christian Horner says he is saddened by the announcement that McLaren are to replace Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 season, adding that he is ‘one of the best guys’ in the sport.

Szafnauer, speaking to Sky Sports for the first time since the transfer saga started, also explained why Alpine weren’t willing to offer Alonso more than a one-year contract, which led to the two-time champion signing with Aston Martin.

“Fernando is a two-time world champion, still driving at a high level,” he said. “Hopefully that won’t last too much longer because he’s leaving!

“It doesn’t last forever, but we’ve got to look forward now and fill the open seat that we have with the best driver.”

That ‘best driver’ may now be Ricciardo, with the Australian linked with an unexpected return to the Renault family having left the team – now known as Alpine – for McLaren at the end of 2020.

Fernando Alonso says he wasn't as supported by Alpine due to his age and is very happy to join the Aston Martin project.

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Fernando Alonso says he wasn’t as supported by Alpine due to his age and is very happy to join the Aston Martin project.

Fernando Alonso says he wasn’t as supported by Alpine due to his age and is very happy to join the Aston Martin project.

Ricciardo told Sky Sports on Thursday he would be open to a return but wasn’t sure if Alpine would want him back. Szafnauer, though, didn’t close the door.

“The team speak very highly of Daniel and his time here,” he said.

“We haven’t had those strategic discussions yet. But everyone I speak to, the engineering team, they really speak highly of his skill as a driver and as a team motivator.”

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