Piastri Rejects Alpine’s Offer for F1 Seat in 2023

Copyright: Bryn Lennon - Getty Images
Alpine and his young star Oscar Piastri are at odds over his services for 2023.
The highly rated Piastri, 21, has been backed by Alpine for the past four years, winning titles in Formula 3 and Formula 2 before occupying a testing and reserve role in 2022 after failing to secure a race spot.
On Tuesday evening UK time - early Wednesday morning in Piastri's native Australia - Alpine issued a statement announcing Piastri as the 2023 racer alongside Esteban Ocon.
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The publication did not include a quote from Piastri, nor did Piastri himself announce the news on his official website or through social media channels. Usually big stories like this and one about a budding beginner fulfilling a lifelong dream are skillfully coordinated. It's not just after 2am Melbourne time.
In its carefully worded press release, Alpine said Piastri had been promoted "in line with the team's commitments to the young Australian" and also specifically referred to Piastri's "intense and extensive training program with private testing in the winning A521, the 2021 Alpine F1 car". , which was carried out "under the direction of the team and [with] their full financial support".
Team boss Otmar Szafnauer said in an official quote: “Oscar is a bright and rare talent. We are proud to have promoted and supported him on the difficult path of the junior formulas. Working together over the past four years we have seen him develop and mature into a driver who is more than capable of making the step up into Formula 1.”
Szafnauer continued that as a reserve rider, Piastri “has been exposed to the team on the track, in the factory and in testing where he has shown the maturity, promise and speed to ensure his climb to our second place alongside Esteban. Together we believe the duo will give us the continuity we need to achieve our long-term goal of fighting for wins and championships.”
Almost two hours later, Piastri responded to the development with a bombshell.
"I understand that without my consent, Alpine F1 issued a press release late this afternoon that I will be driving for them next year," Piastri wrote. “That is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I won't be driving for Alpine next year."
It comes amid rumors that Piastri's management team - which includes former F1 driver Mark Webber, a close friend of two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso - has reached some sort of agreement with McLaren. And that's despite McLaren signing Daniel Ricciardo for 2023, with both driver and team publicly emphasizing their commitment to each other.
As of Monday morning, Alpine had expected to field Alonso and Ocon in 2023 and was in talks with Williams over a loan deal for Piastri. Meanwhile, Alonso confirmed just yesterday that he has agreed a multi-year deal with Aston Martin to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel.
Piastri's status has changed rapidly, and the situation has poisoned in a short time.

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