SportF1Why Alpine is guilty of its mistakes in the...

Why Alpine is guilty of its mistakes in the Oscar Piastri case

Despite Alpine’s confidence in the case and Oscar Piastri ‘s apparent lack of integrity, the team has to face the truth, and that is that its mistakes have caused it to lose a two-time Formula 1 world champion and one of the most promising young talents of recent years in the short space of just four weeks.

Fernando Alonso’s surprising switch to Aston Martin for the 2023 season was unexpected by everyone in the paddock, including Gauls manager Otmar Szafnauer , who learned of the news when the official statement was issued. The American even stated that he was part of the negotiations, which the Asturian denies, and the talks stalled since the French team did not give in to the Spanish’s requests.

After all, they had Piastri in reserve, so Alpine thought they would no longer need the two-time world champion, but the announcement of Sebastian Vettel’s retirement and Aston Martin’s interest in the Oviedo caused the outcome that everyone we know.

Alpine’s plan backfired as they lost Alonso and in reality their second choice had already signed with McLaren, they just didn’t know it yet. The resolution of the CRB [Contract Recognition Board] revealed that the current agreement between Piastri and Woking was signed on July 4 , the Monday after the British Grand Prix, almost a month before the agreement was confirmed. signing of Fernando Alonso with Aston Martin.

It was also nine days before Daniel Ricciardo posted a video on his Instagram account in which he reaffirmed his commitment to papaya next year. Apparently, his young compatriot signed as a McLaren reserve for 2023, but given the situation of the starting Australian and the form he was showing on the track, it is likely that clauses were included where there was the option of a promotion to be the official driver in should a seat become available.

Much has been made of the loyalty, or lack of it, of youngsters towards the teams that helped them at the beginning of their sporting careers on their way to Formula 1 throughout the Piastri saga, but that goes in both directions. Yes, Alpine were giving the Australian the chance to try a single-seater and make it to the Grand Circus, although being too focused on keeping Alonso in 2023, they didn’t make sure they had their academy star secured, so that it is understandable that other options were sought.

This is where McLaren comes in, that regardless of the decision they made with Daniel Ricciardo, they wanted to secure the best possible driver line-up for the future, and that’s how they offered him a seat for 2023 on July 4.

Alpine needs to ask herself some serious questions about this whole case. It has been a disaster for the team, especially because of the confidence they have shown their fans, and that is that McLaren’s approach to simply saying that they would wait for the resolution of the CRB may have been the best option, despite not capturing any headlines. As the old saying goes: “It is better to be silent and be taken for a fool than to speak up and clear all doubt”.

Even if the likes of Szafnauer and Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi were convinced that the Piastri deal had been in place since November, then why has it been proven that it wasn’t? What information was given to the CRB that was later discarded?

It is necessary to review what happened to get to the bottom of the matter, but the management of what happened leaves a “strange feeling” in the conversations and negotiations that may come in the future.

In addition, all this controversy has overshadowed Piastri’s arrival in Formula 1, and it was a junior driver who was the envy of all because of his resume, with many races behind him, so it was difficult to find someone to say negative things.

Instead, the Australian went viral on the internet with his post disproving his deal with Alpine, and has faced criticism for alleged lack of allegiance to Alpine. The theme will be a recurring theme until next March, when the next campaign kicks off, and it will surely be one of the most eyed rookies in recent seasons. He is only going to have added pressure, which is to last a few more months as Alpine’s reserve.

Now the French will, at best, stick with their third option, which is, as revealed by Motorsport.com, Pierre Gasly. Apparently, the one from AlphaTauri is the favorite to occupy the free seat, but Red Bull needs to release him from his commitments, but even if that happens, the question remains of what his relationship with Esteban Ocon will be like.

When the Enstone name hit the grid at the start of 2021 following the Renault switch, a 100-race -to-win plan was put in place. By losing Fernando Alonso and his future star, Oscar Piastri, due to their mistakes, the team needs to take responsibility and improve for the future to avoid those management mistakes.


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