Oscar Piastri has rejected Alpine’s claim that he will be competing for its Formula 1 team in 2023.
Alpine released a statement on Tuesday stating it had promoted the Australian to a race seat for next season.
Piastri has held the role of Alpine’s test and reserve driver this campaign, having been part of its junior academy for a number of years.
He was in line to replace Fernando Alonso at the team after the two-time World Champion announced that he would be joining Aston Martin in 2023 on a multi-year deal.
The 21-year-old has been taking part in an extensive private testing programme with Alpine this year, driving its 2021 car at various tracks.
A couple of hours after Alpine’s announcement, which did not contain any quote from the reigning Formula 2 champion, Piastri issued a statement denying he will compete for the team.
“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,” he 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 has been linked with a move to McLaren in reports, replacing Daniel Ricciardo, who could return to Alpine after leaving the Enstone-based squad at the end of 2020.
I gather something very unexpected has suddenly happened at Alpine that has caused this and Alonso to leave. Alonso looked to be set at Alpine for years to come, and even had plans to drive an Alpine LMH car once he finished his F1 career with the team.
I’d put my money on Alpine feeling a bit over confident and low balled Fernando with their offer, to which his response was “See ya later alligator”.
Poor Lance is going to be shown up and exposed for the woefully inadequate driver that he is. And that will not make Daddy very happy.