Alpine fire personal shot at ‘selfish’ Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri will race for McLaren in 2023, after the team exhausted every avenue to make their relationship with Daniel Ricciardo work.

Alpine’s 2023 driver pairing of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly may look like one of the strongest on the grid, however, Gasly was not the team’s first choice replacement for the Aston Martin bound Fernando Alonso.

2021 Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri was signed to the team on a young driver contract, and Alpine believed that this gave them the option to promote the Australian to a race seat in 2023.

Piastri shockingly rejected Alpine’s announcement that he would race for the team in 2023 on Twitter, and it was then revealed that the 21-year-old had already signed a contract with McLaren around the time of the British Grand Prix.

After a long and drawn out hearing with the Contract Recognition Board, it was ruled that Piastri’s Alpine contract did not force him to driver to the team in 2023, meaning he was free to join McLaren.

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Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has now given a damning prediction to Piastri, claiming that his selfishness will hinder him in the long run.

“I think species that collaborate survive,” he said.

“Species that are selfish perish and that’s true in history. I think that might apply to Formula 1 too, but let’s see what the future brings.

“We had an obligation for Oscar to either put him in our car for next year or find him a seat, a loan seat somewhere else, or he became a free agent.”

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Alpine had the last laugh over McLaren in 2022, beating them to fourth place in the championship after securing a strong enough result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Piastri was originally set to race for Williams in 2023, however after the announcement of the shock departure of Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin over the summer break, Alpine have confirmed that their plan was to promote the 21-year-old straight to a 2023 race seat.

Szafnauer has suggested that his team have, in a weird way, benefitted from Piastri’s rejection, as they originally believed that appointing Pierre Gasly would be impossible, but as it turned out Red Bull were reasonable in setting a price for the Frenchman’s release.