Piastri denies he will succeed Alonso at Alpine
Madrid, Aug 2 (EFE).- Oscar Piastri resorted to Twitter on Tuesday to deny that he has agreed to replace Fernando Alonso at the Alpine Formula 1 team when the Spanish driver moves to Aston Martin next season.
“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year,” the Australian tweeted not long after the team announcement. “This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Piastri, the 2021 Formula 2 champion, is currently a reserve driver for Renault/Alpine.
“After four years as part of the Renault and Alpine family, Reserve Driver Oscar Piastri is promoted to a race seat alongside Esteban Ocon starting from 2023,” Alpine said earlier Tuesday.
But that statement followed a press conference where the team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, acknowledged that he could not confirm Piastri would race for Alpine, despite having “contractual obligations.”
“I do know he does have contractual obligations to us and we do to him. We have been honoring those obligations all year,” Szafnauer said of the 21-year-old driver, who is reported to have had discussions with McLaren.
The Alpine boss also admitted that the team was caught by surprise when Alonso, a two-time F1 champion, said Monday that he would be joining Aston Martin at the beginning of the new season.
Alpine had been confident of keeping the 41-year-old Spaniard onboard through the end of the 2023 season, but Szafnauer confirmed that Alonso wanted a two-year contract while the team was offering one year with an option for 2024.
Aston Martin turned to Alonso after four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announced his plan to retire by the season’s end. EFE