Alpine set to take Oscar Piastri and McLaren to court

Oscar Piastri is rumoured to have signed a deal with McLaren for 2023.

It is far from a relaxing summer break for the Alpine F1 Team and Oscar Piastri, after the pair’s contract fiasco looks set to go to court.

Following Fernando Alonso’s announcement that he’d be leaving Alpine at the end of 2022 to replace Sebastian Vettel at the Aston Martin F1 Team, Alpine shortly after released their own statement informing that reserve driver Piastri had been promoted for 2023.

However, Piastri quickly released his own statement, informing the world that he hadn’t agreed to race for Alpine next season, and crucially won’t be either.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has been left furious, with the Romanian American insisting that Piastri must show “loyalty”, with Alpine having invested millions into the 2021 F2 World Champion.

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“There has to be some loyalty in return for the fact that we literally invested millions and millions of euros to prepare him [for Formula 1],” the team boss said in conversation with El Confidencial.

Piastri is believed to have signed a deal with the McLaren F1 Team to replace Daniel Ricciardo for 2023, with the 33-year-old set to be offered a huge sum of money to leave the team instead of seeing out his contract.

Should Piastri join McLaren and not race for Alpine, then Szafnauer wants the young Australian to pay “compensation” for all the money the Enstone-based team spent on preparing him for F1.

Piastri is rumoured to have driven 3,500km for Alpine last season, across a number of tests.

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“We did seven independent tests with him and that is not cheap at all,” the Alpine boss continued.

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“We spent a lot, a lot of money on Piastri to prepare him for the future. And if that future is not given to us, it is logical and fair that we demand compensation.”

Alpine are believed to be considering legal action, with the French team confident that Piastri is contractually bound to them.

Should Piastri not race for Alpine, then supposedly there are 14 drivers on the French team’s wish list to line-up alongside Esteban Ocon, with Ricciardo one of them.