“We are torn apart,” Alpine CEO reveals that the team got a reality check after the Oscar Piastri saga

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has been questioning the benefits of a junior driver program ever since the whole saga with Oscar Piastri and McLaren occurred.

Oscar Piastri
Oscar Piastri
FirstSportz News

Australian driver Oscar Piastri joined Alpine’s junior driver program back in 2020 where they financed all of his racing gigs. Looking back at his performance, it was clear that he was a talent that deserved a spot in the main team. The driver had finished F3 where he won the title and subsequently went on to take part in F2 and win the title as well. Although what was in line for both Alpine and Piastri was far more bizarre than anyone would have thought.

Looking at his performances, Alpine promoted Oscar Piastri to the role of Reserve Driver for the 2022 season. This laid a path for him to join the team as a driver to partner Esteban Ocon once Fernando Alonso retires. Although this did not happen as a completely different scenario occurred. It was something that made Laurent Rossi rethink his take on the junior driver academy that Alpine has established.

When Fernando Alonso announced the he will be departing from Alpine and joining Aston Martin next year, the team announced Oscar Piastri as their driver for 2023 which he publicly refused as he was in talks with McLaren over fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo’s seat which he got in the end after Alpine and McLaren along with Oscar were in a FIA contract recognition board which solved any possible problem that was on the books. Here is what the Alpine CEO had to say about the present day situation.

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“It’s setting a dangerous precedent,” Alpine CEO talks about the Oscar Piastri and McLaren saga

Oscar Piastri
Oscar Piastri

“It’s setting a dangerous precedent,” he told the F1 website. “It’s creating a possible framework where driver academies are at risk. Manufacturers invest a lot in budding talents. The first remedy is to look at contracts differently – we will be much tougher. We learn form that, to take less of a naïve perspective on shaking hands and being partners on more legally binding terms, which will be a bit less friendly,” he said.

“Then there is the even bigger consideration – is it worth it, us investing so much in detecting and supporting talent.”

“If someone who doesn’t do that kind of stuff, saves that money and then poaches them when they are fully trained – why don’t we do the same? It’s a tough question – as it’s about what you believe in,” he continued.

“We believe in bringing youth through; it’s anchored in the Renault Group. It’s our values, giving a chance to young drivers. Values are important. You want to stand for something,” he concluded.

With this, the Alpine CEO further said that the team will be thinking about their junior driver programme and analysing if it is doable and actually worth the efforts. Oscar Piastri’s actions which Alpine seems to be the one to blame for, have put the team in this position in the first place. Change is needed from within in order to achieve success.

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