2021 F2 Champion Oscar Piastri has announced he won’t race for Alpine next season and will leave the team’s setup.
Alpine has had a disastrous few weeks, leading up to the summer break. Two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso announced he would leave the team and join Aston Martin next season.
They did not waste time in announcing reserve driver Piastri as their replacement for the Spaniard. It turned out to be an embarrassing situation for them as the Aussie announced he would not be joining the team. This led to a massive meltdown online, and the Enstone outfit was made to look like fools.
oscar piastri coming after fernando’s alpine seat pic.twitter.com/0gUHdgIYMi
— Maude (@schumihoney) August 1, 2022
Piastri is a huge talent in F1 and Alpine spent a lot of time and money molding him into a world-class talent. This is why team principal Otmar Szafnauer admitted he was disappointed with Piastri’s loyalty.
Nothing official has been said regarding the situation behind the scenes, but reports claim that Alpine wants to claim compensation for all the resources spent on Piastri.
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Alpine spent an awful lot of money on Oscar Piastri, says Otmar Szafnauer
Alpine loses Piastri and Alonso in the space of 48 hours. Their driver lineup for 2023 looks very uncertain as of now. But Szafnauer insists that they are in talks with multiple talented drivers.
“The contract we have says we should support him in his career in Formula 1 by investing a lot of money,” he said. “Last year we gave him a car that he did 3500 kilometers in.”
“We did seven independent tests with it and this isn’t cheap. The cost of the engine alone is EUR 1.7 million.”
oscar piastri showing up to the first race weekend of the 2023 season not knowing which garage to go to pic.twitter.com/GdayRR3RPL
— ria (@f1riaa) August 3, 2022
Szafnauer still believes that Piastri will drive for Alpine next season. “We had a contract with Piastri so we need to understand where that takes us legally,” he said to El Confidencial.
“We believe – and it’s why we issued the statement – that we have a binding agreement. So lets some time studying where this takes us. If Piastri is not in the car, and I think he will be, I have like 14 phone calls from interested drivers. Our seat is the most valuable one left.”
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