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PIASTRI DECLARES THAT HE WILL NOT BE AT ALPINE NEXT YEAR


Published at 8/2/2022

Oscar Piastri has declared on his social media overnight that he will not be racing with Alpine next year, reacting to an earlier public statement from the French team that affirmed him as taking Fernando Alonso’s seat for 2023.

As reported by AUTO ACTION yesterday, there was speculation that a deal had already been done with another team prior to Alonso departing for Aston Martin.

“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is wrong, and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023,” said the young star.

“I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”

Alpine’s earlier press release stated:

“BWT Alpine F1 team confirms 21-year-old reserve driver Oscar Piastri as Esteban Ocon’s teammate starting from 2023. In line with commitments made by the team to the young Australian, Oscar will be promoted to race driver and step in Fernando Alonso’s seat from next year onwards.”

Team principal Otmar Szafnauer further commented on he and his team’s pride in having taken Piastri through his formative steps into taking the seat vacated by the Spaniard.

“Oscar is a bright and rare talent. We are proud to have nurtured and supported him through the difficult pathways of the junior formulae,” said Szafnauer.

“Through our collaboration over the past four years, we have seen him develop and mature into a driver who is more than capable of taking the step up to Formula 1.

“As our reserve driver he has been exposed to the team at the track, factory and testing where he has shown the maturity, promise and speed to ensure his promotion to our second seat alongside Esteban. 

“Together, we believe the duo will give us the continuity we need to achieve our long-term goal of challenging for wins and Championships.”

The speculation which surfaced over French media yesterday is that McLaren is the team to have signed Piastri, but this is yet to be confirmed.

Alpine believe, and have stated, that Piastri has a contractual obligation to race for them next season, but it is also speculated that his contractual obligation with them ended on July 31.

This throws the future of fellow Australian and current McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo into doubt should the rumours of Piastri driving with McLaren next year are true.

The beleaguered Aussie driver has stated his intention of staying on with the team into next year, as he is contracted to do so, but has faced public pressure from the top-brass at McLaren over his performances alongside the more consistent Lando Norris. 

Losing Piastri to a rival that sits so close in the constructors championship, would be a huge blow for Alpine. 

Stay tuned into AUTO ACTION for more of this story as it surfaces.

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