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PIASTRI IN RICCIARDO OUT AT MCLAREN


Published at 8/2/2022

Despite the shock departure of Fernando Alonso from Alpine F1 only 48 hours ago and Alpine claiming that young Aussie Oscar Piastri with replace the Spaniard at the Enstone based squad, it is more likely than not that Piastri will be confirmed as a McLaren driver as soon as today.

This announcement will also likely confirm that fellow Australian Daniel Riccardi will leave McLaren at the end of 2022.

Piastri has responded to a media release put out by Alpine F1 overnight Australian time, that he will be driving for Alpine in 2023 replacing Alonso, however Piastri responded soon after with a social media post refuting Alpine’s claim and saying that he will not be at Alpine next year.

“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. I will not be driving for Alpine next year” he confirmed on his Twitter account.

It’s worth noting that Piastri has been acting as reserve driver for both Alpine and McLaren this season.

He has been fully kitted up in the McLaren racing gear, has had seat fittings, as well as spending time on the McLaren simulator. When competing at the Spanish Grand Prix Lando Norris became quite ill with tonsillitis, and with no break between races, Piastri was only 24 hours away from stepping into the McLaren to replace him, fortunately Norris recovered in time to take his place in the Monaco grid.

Despite being a long term Alpine Junior squad member and having spent the last year as an offical Alpine test driver, and as Alpine reserve driver for this season, it seems a failure to confirm a full time drive has cost Alpine the services of the highly regarded youngster.

This despite having a contract option on the Aussie.

Not only have Alpine lost the youngster, they will now be struggling to find a replacement for Alonso who without warning has signed for Aston Martin for next season.

Piastri’s managment team led by Australian F1 race winner and World Endurance Champion Mark Webber, gave Alpine Management a firm deadline, believed to be late June or early July, to confirm Piastri as their second driver in 2023 or at least place him in a competitive team for a time till Alonso finally retired from F1.

However with several other top teams wanting the services of the Formula 3, and Formula 2 Champion, it seems that patience ran out and McLaren jumped at the chance to have another young star in their squad.

With Piastri in at McLaren and Lando Norris having recently signed a long term deal to stay at McLaren, it will be in with one Australian and out with another, which will leave Daniel Riccardo without a confirmed drive in 2023.

Alpine are said to be shocked and have been left flat footed by Alonso’s move and are now desperate to find a high caliber teammate for Esteban Ocon, so it could be possible for Ricciardo to find himself back at Enstone and back in an Alpine.

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