The musical chairs in Formula 1 have been pretty messy for the past week. The music stops, but the talented Oscar Piastre refuses to sit in Alpine’s vacant chair. Will the Australian push compatriot Daniel Ricciardo to that seat (or to the exit)?
In fact, absolutely nothing had to change before 2023.
Aston Martin also wanted to continue winning the world championship four times next season Sebastian Vettel, but the fire near the Germans became an experimental light. He wanted “as a father to spend more time with his children.”
His farewell message immediately pushed the F1 rumor mill to an all-time high. Because a free seat with an ambitious mid-range drive is always required.
Vettel saw opportunities for his young compatriot Mick Schumacher at Aston Martin, but the British team opted for more experience. A little more experience. twice world champion Fernando Alonso Everyone surprised with a key. Also his own team.
Albin had to learn through Aston Martin’s press release that he was suddenly one driver short for 2023. Unsuspecting team boss Otmar Szafnauer thought Alonso was enjoying a holiday “in Greece”, a selfie of the Spaniard demonstrated the opposite. Alonso responded to the Aston Martin press release with a thumbs up from his hometown of Oviedo.
Szafnauer admitted to Autosport: “I’ve heard rumors in the track that Aston Martin was interested, but I still had a feeling there was nothing wrong.” “Yeah, I was totally surprised.”
Looks like Williams solved Bistrian
The Alps were left orphaned. They brought the two-time world champion back to Formula 1 through the big gate in 2021 and offered him a contract for next year, with the option of another season. 41-year-old Alonso has secured more safety with Aston Martin on a multi-year contract.
But Johan Cruyff knows that “every flaw has its advantage”. Fernando Alonso solved a mental joke for Albin by substituting him, because with Oscar Piastre they had a high talent on the reserve bench.
The 21-year-old Australian scored high by winning titles consecutively in Formula 3 and Formula 2, each in his first season. Only Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg, Charles Leclerc and George Russell showed him a piece of art. He was also crowned Formula Renault champion the previous year.
However, there was no place for this season’s F2 champion. Guanyu Zhou (with a bag of Chinese sponsor money) went with the last seat in Alfa Romeo. Piestre had to settle for a seat in the antechamber in the Alps.
In order not to test the Aussie’s patience, Otmar Szafnauer has been searching the market for a place for Pastry for next season. The year at Williams in 2023 and then on to Alpine in 2024 seemed to be the career path. Until Alonso changed that.
Even cycling teams make fun of the Alps
Alpine did not hesitate for long to switch to Plan B and hand the Alonso wheel in the hands of Piastri a year earlier, who had been on the talent program at the French racing stable for 4 years.
“Alpine confirms that Oscar Piastre will form the racing duo with Esteban Ocon in 2023,” Alpine quickly announced in a press release. “In line with the agreements we have with the young Australian, Oscar will be promoted to race driver and will take the seat of Fernando Alonso from next year.”
A dry press release without quotes from Biastr. It looked weird, didn’t feel right and turned out to be wrong. A few hours later, Piastr himself explained that something was definitely not right.
“I understand that Alpine F1 issued a press release without my permission that I will be driving for them next year. It is not true and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving in Alpine next year,” said the 21-year-old Australian.
Alpine loses her face and laughs at the competitors. Alex Albon couldn’t resist the French racing stable when he extended his contract with Williams.
And even cycling teams scoff at the soap surrounding the Biastri contract extension. Team DSM and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert joked about the Australian on Twitter.
(read under tweets)
Who is right: the Alps or the Piestri?
Why doesn’t Piastre take this opportunity with both hands? With the Australian already having certainty about a place in Formula 1 elsewhere, he is suspect.
Piastre, along with his agent and former Formula One driver Mark Webber, will be working behind the scenes to sign a contract with McLaren. There he will meet his fellow countryman Daniel Ricciardowho breaks some pots, push to get out.
“Oscar and his entourage are considering their options, whatever that might mean,” Szafnauer said. But he is definitely our number one candidate and we will continue to work on that.”
Or did Piastrie play a high game too early? Alpine is sure Piastri’s contract is still valid, and the Australian claims the French stable had to remove the option in his contract before a certain date.
Those in the right may have to identify the F1 contracts recognition board. That organization, which is made up of independent lawyers, must then consider contracts. “We have the right to use it,” Szafnauer insists.
Is switching to Ricciardo an option? The chance of the 33-year-old Australian returning to the Alps, who shut the door rudely at Renault in 2020, looks slim.
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