Otmar Szafnaure has made it public that Alpine has got around 14 candidates who are willing to get into the second seat for the 2023 Formula One season.
All the off-track shenanigans were put into motion when Fernando Alonso announced that he has joined Aston Martin for the 2023 F1 season, and from then onward things have unfolded quickly at Alpine and it has become a big mess.
After Fernando’s announcement, Alpine issued a statement through which they promoted their reserve driver Oscar Piastri to race alongside Esteban Ocon during the 2023 season. However, what Oscar Piastri did afterward was not expected by the Enstone-based F1 team.
The 21-year-old took to social media and dismissed Alpine’s statement by saying that he is not going to drive for them in 2023. Since then, the environment around the team is that of utter confusion, and Otmar Szafnauer while discussing the future of Piastri said, “Alonso is going to Aston Martin, we had a contract with Piastri and we need to understand where that takes us legally. We believe, and that’s why we released this statement, that we have a contract. We will take the time to study where that takes us.”
Otmar Szafnauer on the options for the 2023 F1 seat
Alpine has become the center of attention during the summer break and Otmar has revealed that he is getting calls regarding the availability of the second seat from all over the world.
Otmar while talking about it said, “And if Piastri isn’t in the car – and I believe he will be – I got about 14 calls from riders who are interested because Alonso’s seat is the most valuable thing left.”
Otmar Szafnauer believes that the seat at Alpine is the only attractive seat that is left for the 2023 F1 season and when asked whether the team would be interested in other drivers, the team boss said, “Yes, we are fourth, Ocon is a good teammate, a good competitor, we have plans to do better than fourth, we have our own power source, our own facilities and we can alternate between the development of the chassis and the engine to make the fastest car.”
Otmar Szafnauer further adds, “We have a great technical team, 850 people and we will continue to improve. It’s no wonder that many people called me, but of those 14 people, four remained on the final list. and among them is Piastri.”
Alpine has made it clear that Oscar Piastri is still in their plans for 2023 but they have also got three other drivers who could potentially come in if things don’t work out with the Australian.
A lot has been said about the debacle that Alpine has found itself in and considering all that has happened, this whole saga is going to stretch further during summer break and who knows it could even carry on when F1 gets back on track on the 26th of August.
Both parties believe that they are legally right in their place and it is going to be a fascinating watch to see how Alpine is going to go about tackling the problem.