Formula 1 team presents Alonso’s successor, but he knows nothing
Alpine is looking for a successor for Fernando Alonso and announces the new driver for the coming season. Apparently a little too early. The young man goes public. The message is “wrong”.
Dhe Formula 1 talent Oscar Piastri does not want to drive for the racing team as the successor to Fernando Alonso in the coming season, contrary to the announcement made by the Alpine team. “I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I won’t be driving for Alpine next year,” the Australian wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening. Shortly before, the team had announced that the 21-year-old would be promoted from reserve driver to regular driver next season.
Piastri will then start alongside Frenchman Esteban Ocon, it said. “That’s wrong,” Piastri countered. The message had not been agreed with him, he assured. Instead, Piastri is said to be in talks with McLaren together with his manager, ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber, and could replace his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo (33) there.
Alpine was apparently surprised by the news on Monday that Alonso was moving to rival Aston Martin for the new season. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer only found out about Alonso’s change in the press release from the British competitor. The 41-year-old replaces the German Sebastian Vettel (35) at Aston Martin, who wants to end his Formula 1 career after this season. Alpine had actually wanted to extend the expiring contract with Alonso, reservist Piastri was supposed to do an apprenticeship with Williams.
Alpine plans with Piastri anyway
After the Australian’s denial, Alpine remains firm and plans to continue with Piastri as a driver for the coming season. “We believe that our statement is legally correct, but we have nothing more to say about it,” a spokesman for the team was quoted as saying by the BBC. Szafnauer, who praised Piastri’s talent, had his say in the announcement. “Advice and full financial support” for the 21-year-old has also been emphasized in the past. Piastri is part of a costly testing program designed to introduce drivers to Formula 1. The driver himself was not quoted in the report.
The Australian is considered a promising talent. Two years ago he won the title in the junior class Formula 3, in the previous season he was Formula 2 champion. Earlier this season, he had been hired as Alpine’s reserve rider.