F1 team “chasing millions” if Piastri doesn’t race for them
August 8, 2022 / 8:15 pm
Formula One team Alpine may be chasing millions in compensation at the London High Court if it’s reserve driver Oscar Piastri refuses to race for them next season, according to Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer.
The French racing team announced the Australian driver would be the team’s replacement for Fernando Alonso, after Alonso announced he was shifting to race for Aston Martin in 2023.
Alpine, formerly known as Renault, put out a press release announcing Piastri would be racing for the team next year, but a few hours later Piastri responded on Twitter:
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. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) August 2, 2022
It’s believed Piastri and his manger, fellow Australian and former Formula One driver Mark Webber had been in contract negotiations with McLaren, which would see compatriot Daniel Ricciardo booted, despite having a a year and a half remaining on his contract.
McLaren, who are fighting Alpine for fourth in the championship, have reportedly told Ricciardo he is being dropped.
Szafnauer said all the indications from their base in Paris were that Alpine were prepared for a legal battle once the sport’s August break was over.
“Going to the High Court is over 90 per cent certain that’s what we’ll do,” he told Reuters on Monday.
Image: Fernando Alonso (right) will shift from Alpine to Aston Martin next year, opening up a seat. Current Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri (centre) was declared he won’t be racing for Alpine next year, leading to speculation he will oust fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo (right) from McLaren