Australian Oscar Piastri will be an Alpine pilot in 2023.
From 2 August, when Alpine announced a Oscar Piastri as his new driver, who shortly after was denied by the Australian trained at the French academy, nine days passed before a new communication appeared on the French Twitter: a goat of a lubricants company.
The team was ridiculousFirst, when Fernando Alonso announced that he will replace Sebastian Vettel – who will retire – next year at Aston Martin and he did it again the next day when Piastri said the announcement of his hiring it had been without her consent.
On Twitter, where they made that appointment drums and cymbalsnow appears as the last post a retweet a Castrol activity attended by Alonso and Esteban Ocon, his – for now – the only confirmed member of the team next season.
But there was more interesting news about Alpine that didn’t appear on their social networks. These are the statements that his Formula 1 team manager, Otmar Szafnauerhe gave it to Reuters, where he insured it they are willing to take Piastri’s case to court.
“At 90% we will go to the Superior Court he remarked. If the Contract Recognition Office says ‘your license is valid only in Alpine’ And he says ‘great, but I’ll never drive for them, I’ll be away for a year’Then you have to go to the Superior Court at get compensation“He claimed what would be a million-dollar lawsuit.
In a strong message to his 21-year-old starlet Szafnauer added: “We didn’t sit down to see all we spent on it. We will have to do it if we go to the High Court. “
Was there a plot between Alonso and Webber?
Webber gets into Alonso’s Ferrari in Singapore. Photo AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez
When Piastri replied in the negative, the version emerged that Alonso had decided to leave after a deal with his friend Mark Webber, (only) the representative of the Australian. It is that the Asturian announced it on 1 August, one day after the deadline that the Alpino had set to define whether Piastri would race with them or if they would leave him free to act.
The theory supports the pre-contract that the young man would have signed with McLaren to be the new partner of Lando Norris, who would leave Daniel Ricciardo without a place even with the Alpine – where he was already when he was called Renault – available.
“I wouldn’t be surprised”Szafnauer claimed. He added: “I always tell everyone that in Formula 1 you have to act as if everyone knows everything. That there are no secrets in these things. This is how I have been running my business in Formula 1 for 25 years. among the protagonists) it happened, you shouldn’t be surprised. “
The Romanian-American even included a new name: that of Flavio Briatore, former director of Renault and former manager of the Spaniard. “Look, I’m not aware of it, but this is Formula 1 and maybe if in a couple of years someone says they have evidence of shared information, I wouldn’t be surprised,” he argued.
“I’m still surprised by Alonso’s departure”
The boss of the Alps also spoke about the agreement between Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin and said he was confident It’s not something that was handled after Vettel’s retirement.
“As far as I know since I’ve been here, and considering I was at Aston Martin last year, I could say that there were conversations with Fernando already last year, or two years ago, Really. It seems possible, not logical, but possible, “she anticipated.
Otmar Szafnauer made strong statements about what happens in Alpine during the silly season. FIA photo / Dispensa via REUTERS
Szafnauer assured that the French team He had agreed everything with the two-time world champion to announce the extension of the contract in Belgiumwhere the next Grand Prix will be held on August 28, but the team of tycoon Lawrence Stroll got in the way.
“This is the first time I have experienced such a thing. I’m not surprised though, because I’ve been in other situations both from the driver side and from that of the teams. But I’ve never experienced such a thing“, It reaffirmed.
“We talked a lot with Fernando, we wanted him to stay. He had discussed with Aston Martin, so it was the details of the most interesting contract they had offered him that he needed to discuss with us. “However, there are those who say that Szafnauer never wanted the Spaniard in the team.
Legal problem at the door?
According to the Dutch portal RacingNews365.com, Piastri has never signed a contract to race with Alpine in F1, but rather with his school of young drivers. Consequently, the agreement is not registered with the Formula 1 Contract Recognition Office, which allowed the driver to agree with another team who requested it.
In that same medium they ensure it McLaren presented Piastri’s contract to the Contract Recognition Office and that, for the above, the English team has not been notified of any irregularities.
Having said that, the Alpino – which has already warned that it is considering taking Piastri to court – would have only one way out: to take him to trial to obtain a economic compensation for the money invested in their training.
Ricciardo has a contract with McLaren until 2023 but could leave if the arrival of Piastri, the F2 champion in 2021, materializes. Photo Jure Makovec / AFP
Although Daniel Ricciardo has a contract until 2023 with McLaren, in Alpine they do not see badly hiring him if a team ends up in the end. Szafnauer was also quoted in the Spanish media for claiming that the 33-year-old Australian it was a “good recommendation”.
The truth is that the Alpine paddock would not be an unfamiliar environment for him, as he was a driver when he was called Renault. He did it for two seasons, after joining Red Bull in 2019. EIn total he had 38 races before joining McLarenwhere he maintains a good relationship with Lando Norris but does not get the desired results.
Another option – already discarded – was Pierre Gasly, because Red Bull does not think about releasing him even if it does not take place there but in his secondary team, Alpha Tauri. “There is no exit clause with Gasly, it wasn’t there before the summer break and there won’t be after the summer break,” said Austrian adviser, former driver Helmut Marko.
“It makes no sense for Red Bull to let Pierre go. If a Red Bull driver has problems, there is no other suitable driver who can replace him. Only Gasly can do it, “admitted Franz Tost, the head of Alpha Tauri.