Formule 1 - Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo…: Quelle issue pour l'imbroglio entre Alpine et Oscar Piastri ?

Formule 1 – Fernando Alonso, Daniel Ricciardo…: Quelle issue pour l’imbroglio entre Alpine et Oscar Piastri ?

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Why did Alonso leave Alpine?

So as not to end up with your beak in the water. Alpine only wanted to offer the Spaniard short contracts, given his age. The 41-year-old driver was linked to the French team until the end of the current season, with an option to be exercised for the year 2023. The French team could thus ensure the competitiveness of the double champion in the world year after year, while having covered her back – or so she thought – by keeping the prodigy Oscar Piastri in an incubator.

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This choice was assumed by Alpine. “There comes a time when something happens to the pilot physiologically, and he doesn’t have the same abilities as when he was youngertold Otmar Szafnauer, team principal, to our colleagues at Motorsport.com. And I think it happened to Michael Schumacher. I think it’s fair to say that Michael Schumacher at 42 wasn’t the same driver he was at 32 or 35..”

Always a strong performer, even though his results didn’t quite reflect his real level due to various racing incidents, Alonso felt he deserved a longer contract. Knowing he was in an ejection seat, he jumped at the opportunity offered by Sebastian Vettel’s retirement to secure his future in F1. Aston Martin did not hesitate to offer him a contract “multi-year“with, probably, a nice salary at the end of the day.

When did Alpine learn of Alonso’s departure?

At the same time as all of us, according to Otmar Szafnauer. That is to say last Monday, when Aston Martin issued its press release to announce the arrival of the Spaniard. Ironically: a few days earlier, Fernando Alonso had estimated that the negotiations with Alpine around his contract extension would not last “more than 10 minutes“.

“Ferrari should outsource its strategies to Mercedes”

The driver from Oviedo masked his game rather well since the formalization of his departure for Aston Martin surprised everyone. And obviously, he took pleasure in forging this agreement in all discretion. In recent days, he has continued to appear, hilarious, on his own social networks. Knowing full well that the slightest of his actions and gestures were subject to interpretation.

Why did Alpine announce Piastri… without his agreement?

So as not to end up… with your beak in the water (twice). Surprised by the departure of Alonso, the French team tried to save face. The press release it published nevertheless betrayed a hasty reaction. There was no statement from the pilot. A rarity.

“Piastri is coming, he’s the next big thing in Formula 1”

Coming from the Alpine Academy, which therefore financed his early career, Oscar Piastri is contractually linked to the French structure. F3 then F2 champion last year, he has reserve status this season. Both for the blue team, but also for McLaren, after a tacit agreement between the two teams.

Alpine judged that the contract gives him priority over the future of the Australian prodigy. And therefore felt able to announce the promotion of the Australian in 2023 unilaterally. The young driver and his entourage, in particular his manager Mark Webber – who knows the environment perfectly – have another reading of this agreement. That’s why he immediately posted a denial on social media.

Why does Piastri go to arm wrestling?

Probably because he was seen elsewhere. A young man in a hurry, like all drivers of his age and talent – there are few of them – Piastri has probably struck an agreement with McLaren to secure a place on the grid in 2023, instead of Daniel Ricciardo. “I won’t be driving for Alpine next year“, he wrote on Twitter.

What possible problem(s)?

It’s hard to imagine Oscar Piastri going back on his position after such an episode. An amicable agreement will have to be found between Alpine and its pilot. If this is not possible, the case will be brought before the courts and the FIA. We would then enter into a war of lawyers. The authorities could also have a lot of work in the coming months since McLaren and Daniel Ricciardo do not seem to have the same interpretation of the contract that binds them either.

All these disagreements are likely to lead to a new game of musical chairs on the grid. The future of several drivers (Zhou, Tsunoda, Schumacher) is not clearly defined. Surprising movements are to be expected.

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