Fernando Alonso has caused complete chaos throughout the Formula 1 paddock, after announcing on Monday that he’ll be replacing the retiring Sebastian Vettel at the Aston Martin F1 Team.
Whilst Alonso had been linked with the British team in the past, he wasn’t expected to be Vettel’s replacement, with the bookies’ favourite being Mick Schumacher.
However, Alonso’s shock announcement has put the Alpine F1 Team into an embarrassing spiral.
The French team announced on Tuesday that their reserve driver Oscar Piastri, would be lining-up alongside Esteban Ocon for 2023.
As messages of congratulations for Piastri began to appear on social media, the young Australian incredibly released a statement that he hadn’t signed a deal to race for Alpine and won’t be doing so either.
It’s believed that Piastri already has an agreement in place with the McLaren F1 Team, to replace Daniel Ricciardo.
Alpine are certain that Piastri is still contractually bound to them, meaning that lawyers will most likely be getting involved in the saga.
Whilst this was all going on, Alonso perfectly timed an Instagram story, which showed him enjoying life whilst supporting his karting team, with the caption “paradise”.
It was hilarious timing by the 41-year-old, who posted the story at virtually the same time as Piastri’s statement.
It’s left Alpine in a messy situation; one that will take a lot of time to solve.
Alonso’s move to Aston Martin is largely due to Alpine not offering him the deal he wanted, with team principal Otmar Szafnauer explaining that they offered a “one plus one deal”.
“We offered a one plus one deal,” Szafnauer told reporters.
“And we discussed with Fernando that: ‘Look, if next year at this time you’re performing at the same level, of course, we will take you and that could have carried on’. But I think he wanted more certainty independent of performance.”
At Aston Martin, Alonso has signed a multi-year deal, one which has the option for a third season.
The deal also has a clause that allows the Spaniard to leave at any time, should the team not be performing to his standards.
Whilst the partnership looks set to last at least two years, former F1 driver Felipe Massa believes Alonso will cause Aston Martin “problems”.
“He [Alonso] understands how to manage the tyres in the right way and to speak with the team,” said Massa during an appearance on Sky Sports’ Any Driven Monday.
“But the only problem he has is that he splits the team in the middle a little bit. I never had any problem working or talking with him, but he always managed to put everything on his side and split the team a little bit in the middle.
“If he has a competitive car, he definitely can help the team a lot, but if he doesn’t then he can be a problem by splitting the team in the middle. He could even decide to fight with the team. But as a driver, definitely one of the best in the history of Formula 1.”