F1 silly season is rife, and even the F1’s governing body are getting involved…
Sebastian Vettel to retire from F1 at end of season
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The official FIA Twitter account caused quite the stir with a big blunder on Tuesday, retweeting a dig at McLaren for their capture of Alex Palou amid Oscar Piastri’s contract fiasco with Alpine. Piastri is in the middle of a whirlwind surrounding his future, with many believing McLaren have secured his services for the 2023 season.
On Tuesday, Alpine announced that the 21-year-old would be promoted to F1 to replace Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso next year. A tweet read: “2023 driver line-up confirmed: Esteban Ocon [hand shake emoji] Oscar Piastri. After four years as part of the Renault and Alpine family, Reserve Driver Oscar Piastri is promoted to a race seat alongside Esteban Ocon starting from 2023.”
But there was confusion over Piastri’s silence after the major announcement, prompting some to ponder whether Alpine had jumped the gun. And he later took to Twitter to confirm that he not only hadn’t signed with Alpine for 2023 but that he wouldn’t be driving for the team whatsoever.
“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.”
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Amid speculation surrounding where he will end up, F1 journalist Laurent Dupin suggested that Alpine may have agreed a pre-contract with Piastri before McLaren potentially swept in for his services. And he aimed a dig at Zak Brown and Co., claiming it wouldn’t be the first time after they signed Palou for their IndyCar team from Chip Ganassi, who are now suing the driver because he was allegedly under contract for 2023.
Surprisingly, the FIA’s Twitter page showed that the account had retweeted Dupin’s dig at McLaren. It was likely a mistake by F1’s governing body, considering it is no longer showing on their page, but it certainly added to the circus within the sport over the past week.
READ MORE: Piastri to Alpine major twist as driver denies he will replace Alonso
Whether Piastri is heading to McLaren remains to be seen, but Daniel Ricciardo’s largely underwhelming spell with the team has heightened talk of the possibility. One thing seems to be certain, though, the Australian 2021 F2 champion won’t be representing Alpine in any aspect next year.
Alpine have interestingly opted against deleting their post announcing that Piastri would be teaming up with Esteban Ocon next season. That suggests there could be a lot of developments to come in the story, especially if, like Chip Ganassi, they believe they do, in fact, have an agreement.