Alpine, and especially its director, Otmar Szafnauer, has not stopped pouring strong criticism on Oscar Piastri. The young Australian, who had already signed with McLaren, refused to accept a position with the French team for 2023.
“He should have more loyalty with the team that has taken care of him, that has taken him to the World Cup and, above all, that has put him in a Formula 1 car for a year to prepare him, so that he learns the circuits. I expected more loyalty than it has shown. I’ve been in Formula 1 since 1989 and I’ve never seen anything like it,” Szafnauer said in early August. Weeks later, he added: “I wish Oscar had a bit more integrity. He also signed a contract in November, and we did everything we could to prepare him for F1.”
Alpine wanted to record the cost to their coffers of having financed Piastri’s last seasons in the promotional championships, as well as the thousands of kilometers traveled with the A521. However, according to Mark Webber, Oscar’s manager, those figures are exaggerated.
“The figures that are mentioned are totally disproportionate,” said Óscar Piastri ‘s representative on Channel 4 . “The summer break has led to talk of millions and millions and millions. And that is not the case. In the promotion formulas, Oscar has obtained bonuses for winning those championships, regardless of Alpine’s investment [Piastri has won Formula Renault Eurocup, FIA F3 and F2]. Thus, 80% of the budget for his youth career and the academy was contributed by external sponsors and by Oscar’s family. It is important to contextualize the situation.”
Webber took the opportunity to confirm the version of events given by Piastri, whom Alpine accused of not having informed them of his negotiations with McLaren: “Something had been brewing for a long time. But they knew it, it’s clearer than water. They knew it” .
In any case, the reserve driver played an important role this season . “He’s worked a lot for this team, he’s put in a lot of hours. He’s tried to contribute as much as possible to Alpine in terms of performance and he’s done everything he can to help in the simulator,” concluded Webber.
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