After Fernando Alonso’s surprising decision to sign for Aston Martin for next year, the French team activated the contract it believes it has with its reserve driver Oscar Piastri .
Alpine announced Piastri for 2023 this Tuesday afternoon, the day after learning that Fernando Alonso would leave at the end of the campaign.
However, just hours after Alpine’s announcement, Piastri took to his social media to make it clear that he had not signed anything with the team and would not be racing with them in 2023.
“I understand that, without my consent, Alpine F1 have put out a press release in the late afternoon saying that I will be driving for them next year,” Piastri wrote.
“That is incorrect and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I am not driving for Alpine next year.
His comments come after Piastri and his manager have moved to run with McLaren next year.
It has been suggested the youngster could even have a pre-contract with McLaren F1, which would mean that if Alpine loses the expected legal battle, then Piastri would move to Woking .
In the long-term deal with Alpine, the team had to guarantee Oscar Piastri a seat in F1 for 2023 on a specific date if he wanted to stay with the youngster.
The crux of the matter now will be whether that date has already expired and there was a window in which Alpine’s rights expired.
But despite Piastri’s comment and his clear conviction that he will not race with Alpine in 2023, the Frenchmen remain firm on his contract.
That means that, if there ends up being a dispute between Piastri and another team, he could have to go to the Formula 1 Contract Recognition Board to resolve it.
That body, made up of independent lawyers, will read the terms of the contracts that Piastri has and determine who has rights over him for the next year.
Before Piastri’s announcement, team principal Otmar Szafnauer said he had no doubt Alpine was entitled to his services for 2023.
“We have the right to line him up,” he said. “We have priority.”
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