F1 Silly Season Erupts as Piastri Denies Alpine Deal After Announcement

F1 Silly Season Erupts as Piastri Denies Alpine Deal After Announcement Photo: TT
Fernando Alonso of Alpine on track during Formula 1 Pre Season Test 2022 — Photo by canno73

Reigning Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri has sensationally denied he is joining Alpine only hours after the F1 team announced he had been promoted to replace the outgoing Fernando Alonso.

The plot twist comes amid the annual Formula 1 merry-go-round sparked by Sebastian Vettel’s retirement last week, with Alonso confirming he’ll move from Alpine to Aston Martin to replace the German.

On Tuesday, Alpine confirmed their 2023 driver line-up with 21-year-old Australian Piastri to join Esteban Ocon.

“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.

However, only hours later Piastri put out a statement stating that the announcement was not true and declaring he would not be driving for Alpine in 2023.

“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,” Piastri said.

“This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”

The bizarre situation comes amid speculation linking Piastri with McLaren, whom have two contracted drivers in Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. There has been talk that McLaren are trying to sever ties with Ricciardo.

Williams have also been linked with Piastri, with a seat potentially vacant with Nicholas Latifi’s deal yet to be renewed.

Alpine are understood to believe that Piastri is contractually obliged to drive for them next year, although his management claim that clause needed to be activated by July 31 and has thus expired.

Highly-rated Melbourne-born driver Piastri won last year’s Formula 2 Championship in his rookie season, having won Formula 3 in 2020.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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