Alpine boss lashes out at Oscar Piastri: ‘It’s about integrity as a human being’

The Alpine F1 Team have an open seat for 2023 after Oscar Piastri publicly refused to be Fernando Alonso's replacement.

The Alpine F1 Team have faced a turbulent start to the summer break, with the French side in desperate need of a new driver for 2023.

Following Sebastian Vettel’s retirement announcement prior to the Hungarian Grand Prix, it was predicted that Mick Schumacher would replace him.

However, this turned out very quickly to not be the case, as a day after the Hungarian GP, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso announced he’d signed a multi-year deal with the British team.

This caught many off guard, with Alonso having been expected to remain at Alpine for at least another season.

Fernando Alonso in Abu Dhabi GP, 2021.v1

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Despite this, Alpine were confident that they would simply promote reserve driver and 2021 F2 World Champion Oscar Piastri, to race alongside Esteban Ocon.

The Enstone-based team announced that they’d officially promoted Piastri to replace Alonso; however, the young Australian quickly released his own statement insisting that he hadn’t agreed to race for Alpine, and crucially won’t be doing so either.

This came as a slap in the face to Alpine, who have spent millions on supporting Piastri’s junior career.

The Australian is already predicted to win multiple World Championships, with the driver being regarded as one of the brightest prospects the sport has ever seen.

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Losing Piastri so embarrassingly has put Alpine in an unwanted position, having lost a double World Champion and a future one too.

Piastri is believed to have signed a deal to race for the McLaren F1 Team in 2023, replacing Daniel Ricciardo.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer is extremely disappointed in Piastri’s behaviour and immaturity, after revealing that he “expected more loyalty” from the 21-year-old.

“I expected more loyalty from Piastri,” Szafnauer told Spanish media outlet El Confidencial

“He should have more loyalty to the team that has looked after him, that has taken him to the world championship and, above all, that for the last year has put him in a Formula 1 car to get him ready, to get him to know the circuits.

“I expected more loyalty from Oscar than he is showing.

“It’s not about Formula 1, it’s about integrity as a human being.”

The way in which Piastri has announced his departure from Alpine is extremely messy, with the French team being certain that the driver is contracted to them for 2023.

Szafnauer has indicated that Piastri has gone against his word, almost suggesting that the young driver lied to the team.

“It could happen in ice hockey or football, it doesn’t matter,” explained Szafnauer.

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“He signed a paper, a document, saying he would do something different. For me, the way I grew up, I don’t need to sign a paper and then have someone say ‘you’re lying, because you signed this’.

“For me, if you say ‘hey, help me, I’ll help you tomorrow’, there’s no way I would go back on my word. No way.

“‘You did everything I asked you to do [from Alpine to Piastri] and now I promise you that if you do this, I will do this. I don’t need a piece of paper saying ‘with a clause, I can get out of here’.”