Aussie young gun Oscar Piastri handed F1 seat with Alpine

Aussie young gun Oscar Piastri handed F1 seat with Alpine

Oscar Piastri has emphatically rejected Alpine’s claims he would be driving for them in Formula One next season.

Piastri, who has served as Alpine’s reserve driver this season, is expected to become just the third Australian Formula One driver since the turn of the century.

Watch Every Practice, Qualifying & Race of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Live on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >

Fernando Alonso’s departure to Aston Martin – where he will replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel – appeared to open the door for the Aussie young gun to partner Esteban Ocon next season.

Alpine released a statement confirming the promotion around 2am on Wednesday morning, only for Piastri to rubbish the claims two hours later.

“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year,” Piastri said. “This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”

Piastri’s bombshell could even leave Daniel Ricciardo without a seat in 2023.

Ricciardo last week re-affirmed his commitment to McLaren despite Vettel’s shock retirement briefly leaving a vacant seat.

Piastri, who is managed by Aussie F1 legend Mark Webber, is reportedly planning to play hard ball with Alpine in an attempt to force his way to McLaren.

Piastri and Webber are reported to have agreed to a deal with McLaren in the belief Alonso would be on board for one more season.

Alonso’s defection, however, changed all of that.

The fine print on Piastri’s deal with Alpine and the details of the reported arrangement Webber had with McLaren is potentially headed for a legal stoush.

Piastri has been made to bide his time as Alpine’s reserve driver this year, despite winning three consecutive titles in a stellar junior racing career.

There was speculation he could be loaned to Williams as a replacement for underperforming Canadian Nicholas Latifi but Alonso’s exit has allowed Alpine to retain the Melbourne 21-year-old’s services.

F1 commentator Martin Brundle had predicted last month the Aussie would find a way to the 2023 grid.

“Piastri has got to be in F1 next year whatever it is and whatever comes his way he has got to take it,” Brundle said.

“He has to outperform whatever he gets as Mark Webber did at Minardi and (Ayrton) Senna did at Toleman for example.

“It won’t be easy for Oscar but it’s not out of the question. There’s only 20 F1 drivers in the world and to have 10 per cent of them as Aussies will be challenging but do-able.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.