Just hours after French Formula One team Alpine announced reigning Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri as one of their drivers from the 2023 season onwards along with Esteban Ocon, the Australian took to social media to deny signing a contract with the team.
Piastri, who was supposed to be replacing Fernando Alonso, put out a statement on social media stating that he had not signed any contract with Alpine and would not be driving for the French team the season after.
“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.“
Piastri’s signing was not only confirmed by the team through an official release but also by team boss Otmar Szafnauer, who had also expressed his eagerness to work with the young Australian. Piastri has been linked with a move to McLaren and Williams, though neither of that have materialised yet.
The news comes at the worst possible time for Alpine, who had already stated that they were unaware of Alonso’s departure and found out only after Aston Martin announced Alonso’s signing. While they do have a contractual right to put Piastri into their seat as they have claimed, it seems like they exercised the right a bit too early without consulting the driver.
Piastri’s current situation is similar to that of IndyCar driver Álex Palou and Chip Ganassi Racing. Palou won the IndyCar title with Chip Ganassi Racing, and while the team announced that he would be driving for them, Palou took to social media to state that he would not stay with the team for the year after. McLaren SP had put out a statement that claimed that they had signed Palou. The driver and Ganassi Racing will be sorting out the issue in court.
The silly season continues.