Even though it has only been a few days of the month-long Summer Break in Formula 1 and the drivers’ market talks are only just getting started, the F1 World has been filled with action following Fernando Alonso’s move to Aston Martin. It all started when Sebastian Vettel announced his exit from F1 at the end of this year. Vettel’s seat went to yet another World Champion–Alonso–who left Alpine to take the chance. And only a day after Aston Martin and Fernando Alonso’s deal was made public, Alpine took to their social media to announce they had hired F2 Champion Oscar Piastri for their 2023 campaign.
But the drama set off when Piastri clarified on his Twitter page that he has not signed any definitive deal that gave Alpine the rights to say he is now employed under them to drive beside Esteban Ocon. Ever since then, there has been a lot of confusion and even the executives at Alpine are not sure about Piastri’s decision. Alpine and Piastri already have an existing deal that goes into 2023, but it appears the Australian discovered some legal loopholes as he is reportedly in the final stages of signing a contract with McLaren for the seat beside Lando Norris.
Otmar Szafnauer expresses confusion at Oscar Piastri’s public denial of Alpine contract
While Alpine is embroiled in drama with Oscar Piastri, their Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer sat down for an interview with El Confidencial, where he expressed utter confusion regarding the whole matter. Then, Otmar also said that he has no clear answer to why Oscar Piastri wants to move to some other team and not Alpine, even after staying in a contract with them all this while.
Speaking of the firm deal in place between the Australian racer and the French team, Otmar Szafnauer said, “Part of the contract allows us to put Oscar in our car in 2023, hence our press release. There was also an option for 2023, in which we could lend him to another team. In fact, we wanted to keep Fernando for one more year and lend Oscar out for 2023.“
When Otmar was asked for his input as to why Piastri felt the need to shift to another team instead of Alpine, he said, “I think that’s a question for Piastri, because I don’t understand it either. I am relatively new to the team, but am enjoying it here.”