Alpine is still open to running Oscar Piastri in 2023 despite the dispute with McLaren over his contract status and the Australian stating he will not race for the team.
Piastri was named as Fernando Alonso’s replacement on Monday after the Spaniard signed for Aston Martin, but the Alpine reserve driver issued a response that he had not approved the announcement and would not be staying with the team. That is due to Piastri having signed a contract with McLaren to replace Daniel Ricciardo next year, although talks are ongoing regarding Ricciardo’s departure.
RACER understands that while McLaren believes Alpine doesn’t have a contract with Piastri, the French constructor intends to submit documentation to the Contract Recognition Board (CRB) that claims otherwise, which could lead to a tribunal to decide which is valid. Despite rumors, there was no July 31 cut-off deadline involved in the dispute, and it revolves around other technicalities.
Sources at Alpine state they have no issue with McLaren and the way it has gone about its business, as Zak Brown’s team was informed from Piastri’s side that he was free to sign and duly made its move. However, Alpine is unhappy with the way the 21-year-old and his management team have turned their back on them after heavy investment in his junior career and in an ongoing Formula 1 testing program to prepare him for a race seat.
Piastri has driven the 2021 Alpine at numerous venues around the world this year as part of a commitment in his contract to give him 5000km of testing.
While the dispute will center around whether the contract is valid, and despite Alpine’s disappointment at Piastri, RACER understands the team is still keen to run him next year if he is contractually obliged to do so. Alpine views Piastri as a long-term investment and wants to see its commitment through, believing both sides are professional enough to overcome the issue.
So far McLaren has not officially announced Piastri despite lodging a contract with the CRB, while it finalizes Ricciardo’s future.