Alpine boss makes bold claim when comparing Pierre Gasly to Oscar Piastri

Alpine's driver line up for 2023 will consist of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly following Oscar Piastri publicly snubbing the French outfit.

Fernando Alonso sent the Formula 1 ‘silly season’ into overdrive when he announced that he would be departing Alpine for Aston Martin next year.

This shock move triggered a domino effect that saw Alpine replace the Spaniard with Pierre Gasly, and AlphaTauri then filling their vacancy with Nyck de Vries from Mercedes.

Gasly was not Alpine’s preferred option at the time however, as young Oscar Piastri was in line to step up from his development role into a race seat, but the Australian chose a different path.

Piastri was forced to release a statement following Alpine announcing him as a 2023 partner for Esteban Ocon, stating that nothing had been signed, as he eventually went on to reveal that he had already signed a contract behind closed doors with McLaren.

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Alpine believed that Piastri had a contract with them to honour, but after a drawn out battle with the Contract Recognition Board, Piastri was allowed to join McLaren as a replacement for Daniel Ricciardo.

“Thinking that Oscar had a contract with us and the Contract Recognition Board saying something different was a process we had to go through,” said Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer when asked about his team’s process of finding an Alonso replacement.

“Let’s see how we do next year. I’m happy that our driver pairing with Esteban and Pierre is better than it would have been if we had won that case.

“[Gasly is] more experienced, still young. And time will tell, but I think faster.”

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Gasly has spent his entire F1 career with AlphaTauri, barring a short unsuccessful spell with Red Bull, where he struggled to live up to the high expectations set by Max Verstappen.

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Initially it looked like a deal for the Frenchman would be impossible for Alpine to complete, with Gasly a key part at AlphaTauri and highly valued by the Red Bull system, however after some negotiations the two teams managed to settle on a price for Gasly’s release.

The French driver has thanked everyone at Red Bull for understanding his desire to join Alpine and compete higher up the grid, and for not standing in the way of the move he was hoping for.

Alpine will be pleased to have an all French driver line up next year, as the French team look to maximise sponsorship income to compete with the big teams in F1.