Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi has opened up on the current decisions facing the Enstone-based team, in regard to the controversially departing Oscar Piastri.
Piastri is, of course, joining McLaren in 2023 to replace Daniel Ricciardo, after rejecting the chance to replace Fernando Alonso.
Following Alonso’s shock departure, Alpine announced that Piastri would drive alongside Esteban Ocon in 2023; however, the 21-year-old revealed that he hadn’t agreed to race for the French side and wouldn’t be doing so either.
This left Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer furious, with the team principal adamant that the 2021 F2 World Champion was contracted to race for them.
The matter went to the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board, after it’d been revealed that the Aussie had signed for McLaren.
McLaren ultimately won the case, leaving Alpine searching for a driver to accompany Ocon.
Rossi has since revealed that he and the team have nothing against McLaren, and that they are currently deciding on whether to demand compensation from Piastri for all the money they’ve spent towards his future.
“Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl have a responsibility to their team to deliver the best possible performance,” he told Auto Motor und Sport.
“We don’t agree with what happened, but I can’t criticise them for trying to sign the best driver pairing. We don’t hold it against McLaren.”
“We’re checking on that right now,” said Rossi in regard to a potential legal battle against Piastri.
“In the end it is a decision of Otmar and the lawyers.
“For us, it’s all about finding a driver and making the car a second faster. But Piastri’s behaviour set a dangerous precedent for our sport.”
Following the saga, many were left unimpressed by the language used by Szafnauer, after the Alpine boss labelled their current reserve driver as “immature”.
Rossi has come forward and demonstrated support for the Romanian-American following the criticism, who he hails as a “clear leader”.
“Otmar is the clear leader of the team and a lot has changed for the better since he’s been there,” Rossi added.
“Bringing him on board was one of our best decisions.”
A current situation that appears to be unravelling is whether Alpine will release Piastri from his current contract as the team’s reserve driver early, in order for the McLaren-bound driver to appear for the Woking-based outfit in FP1.
McLaren and Alpine are both yet to run a young driver in an FP1 session this year, with both teams needing to do it twice before the end of the year under the new FIA rules.
McLaren are reportedly wanting to use Piastri during the FP1 sessions, to give the Aussie a chance to get to grips with the MCL36.
Rossi has given an answer to whether the team will release Piastri early, with the Frenchman explaining that the team are yet to decide on the matter but will do what’s “best for us, not for others”.
“Otmar will clarify that in conversation with Piastri, McLaren and our lawyers,” he said.
“Nothing has been decided yet. We will do what is best for us and not for others.”