F1 saga takes new twist as Alpine boss takes fresh ‘loyalty’ swipe at Oscar Piastri

OSCAR PIASTRI caused a stir this week when he announced he would not be driving for Alpine next year despite the F1 team stating otherwise.

F1 saga takes new twist as Alpine boss takes fresh 'loyalty' swipe at Oscar Piastri

Otmar Szafnauer is not impressed with Oscar Piastri (Image: GETTY) SUBSCRIBE Invalid email

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Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has continued his war of words with Oscar Piastri after the F1 driver denied that an agreement was in place for him to take Fernando Alonso’s seat from next year. Alonso’s surprise switch to Aston Martin as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement seemingly opened the door for Piastri to step in alongside Esteban Ocon.

Alpine subsequently announced that Piastri would be given the seat but, in a shock twist, the Frenchman took to social media to deny it all and that he would not be driving for the outfit next year. Williams and McLaren have both been linked with moves for Piastri and reports this week indicate he could replace Daniel Ricciardo from next year.

It’s also been indicated that Piastri’s contract with Alpine, of which he is currently the team’s reserve driver, is only for this season with an option for next year. But Alpine clearly aren’t giving up without a fight as Szafnauer insists their lawyers have now stepped in.

And Szafnauer also took a shot at Piastri for showing a lack of “loyalty” with the Romanian F1 chief admitting he’s never seen anything like it in all his years in the sport.

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F1 saga takes new twist as Alpine boss takes fresh 'loyalty' swipe at Oscar Piastri

Alpine signed Oscar Piastri as a reserve driver for this year (Image: GETTY)

“We have a contract with Piastri, which he signed in November, we have spoken to our lawyers and they have told us that this is a binding contract, so part of that contract allows us to put Oscar in one of our cars in 2023, which is the reason we issued the press release,” Szafnauer told Spanish outlet El Confidencial. “There is also an option for 2024 and the possibility for us to ‘loan’ the driver to another team.

“We wanted Fernando with us for one more year and then a ‘loan’ of Oscar for 2023. I have always said in all my press conferences that Piastri would be in Formula 1 in 2023 and it is because I knew he could be in our car or in another car, on loan, if Fernando had stayed.

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“But Alonso, for whatever reason – and I think I know the reasons, although you should ask him – he goes to Aston Martin. So, we started to finalise the agreement with Piastri, and instead of giving him away, we decided to put him in our car. Hence, the statement.”

He added: “In our future, in that hundred-race plan we are all working on, I think there is also room for Piastri. And we have supported him. There should be some loyalty to the fact that we have invested literally millions and millions of euros to prepare him. So I don’t understand it either, you should ask him.

“He should have it with that team that has taken care of him, that has taken him to the World Championship and, above all, that during the last year has put him in a Formula 1 car so that he would be ready, so that he would know the circuits. I expected more loyalty from Oscar than he is showing. I started in 1989 in Formula 1 and I’ve never seen anything like this. And it’s not about Formula 1, it’s about integrity as a human being.”

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