Oscar Piastri has issued a statement denying he will make his Formula 1 debut for Alpine next year, hours after the team claimed he would.
Alpine announced this afternoon its reserve driver had been chosen to take the place of Fernando Alonso in 2023. It followed Aston Martin’s surprise announcement yesterday that they had hired Alonso for next season.
Piastri, the reigning Formula 2 champion, seemed a logical choice of replacement for Alonso. However he has now issued a statement insisting he will not race for the team next year.
“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 posted on social media. “This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023.
“I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Prior to Alonso’s decision to leave Alpine, the team had looked at loaning him to a rival such as Williams. Rumours also linked him to McLaren as a potential replacement for the under-performing Daniel Ricciardo, though he already holds a contract for next year.
The Piastri situation holds remarkable parallels to IndyCar driver Alex Palou’s ongoing wrangle with Chip Ganassi Racing. Palou won the IndyCar title for the team last year, and they announced last month they had taken up an option on his services for next year, only for Palou to immediately contradict that. McLaren SP subsequently announced they had signed Palou. The driver and Ganassi are now heading to court over the dispute.
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