Oscar Piastri soon set on his fate at Alpine for the rest of the season


Oscar Piastri, Alpine reserve driver, will he end the season in the French team? She will look into the matter next week after the announcement of the Australian’s departure to McLaren after a legal battle between the two teams, she announced on Saturday.

For the moment, the 21-year-old pilot “made the simulator this weekend (…). On Monday, we will meet with him and decide what to do next. »announced Otmar Szafnauer, director of Alpine, on the sidelines of the GP of the Netherlands disputed this weekend.

The question arises all the more so as the teams are required to run their reserve drivers at least twice in the season, during free practice on Fridays. So far, that hasn’t been the case for the Aussie yet.

Piastri, trained at the Alpine Academy in recent years, was at the heart of a legal tangle, with McLaren and Alpine claiming to have a contract with the driver for next season.

Finally, the F1 contract recognition office, an ad hoc arbitration body, ruled in favor of McLaren, in a decision made public on Friday.

McLaren announced, in the process, the signing of a contract « multi-annual » with Piastri for his first F1 season, in 2023, alongside Briton Lando Norris.

This decision was a new setback for Alpine, which has accumulated snubs in recent weeks: taken aback in early August by the departure of its driver Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin in 2023, the French team had announced Oscar Piastri as his successor.

But he quickly denied the team’s announcement, pointing out that he had no contract with the team for next year, at a time when it was already rumored that he had signed a contract with McLaren.

« My decision was made long before (Alonso’s departure, editor’s note), which made Alpine’s announcement probably even more disconcerting and annoying because we had told the team that I was not going to continue »defended the interested party on Saturday on the formula1.com site.

Among the contenders now for the second seat at Alpine, with the French Esteban Ocon, are mentioned the German Mick Schumacher (currently at Haas) or the other Frenchman on the grid, Pierre Gasly, engaged until the end of 2023 at AlphaTauri, the stable « little sister » of Red Bull.

If for the time being Gasly prefers to kick into touch, it is not impossible that he will be released before the end of his commitment, for a fee between the two teams.

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