Fernando Alonso may have enjoyed his boat ride off the Greek islands about embarrassing the Formula 1 racing team Alpine in his contract with Oscar Piastre.
The two-time belligerent world champion hasn’t been in the Ionian Sea or the Aegean Sea recently, but in his native Spain. The future successor to Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin reinforced this in the same social networks.
Why is this important? Because Alonso’s French factory team at Alpine doesn’t seem to have an easy time with the facts, thus starting the motorsport class’s summer break with an Oscar-worthy farce. Starring: Young Australian.
Chapter 1: Suddenly Alonso falls somewhere else
The opening bang belongs to Alonso. Aston Martin did not announce the 41-year-old successor to Vettel until August 1. His current team in the Alps is still expected to work with the Spaniard next year. “I was confident that despite the talks, there is nothing wrong with exploring, we are very close to an agreement,” said Alpine team leader Otmar Szafnauer on Tuesday morning.
Alonso also assured him that he “hasn’t signed anything yet”. Then his star pilot, who beat Michael Schumacher in the World Fighting Championships in 2005 and 2006, allegedly sailed towards the Greek islands. Suddenly, Alonso was announced as Vettel’s successor. Szafnauer, a 32-time grand prize winner, made it clear he turned down a one-year contract as well as a one-year option in order to secure a long-term commitment. Aston Martin got the contract.
Chapter 2: The Alps Create Realities
Plan A at Alpine was to extend Alonso’s expired contract, and replacement driver Oscar Piastre is said to be doing a one-year apprenticeship with Williams. Since Plan A failed, the French had to act now. On August 2, Alpine team boss Szafnauer said Piastri, the back-to-back champion in Formula 3 and Formula 2, was the favorite to succeed Alonso. You also have 2023 and 2024 contract options for the 21-year-old.
However, there’s nothing to announce yet, as Piastre and his camp are still considering options, “whatever that means,” Szafnauer noted. The young Australian and his manager Mark Webber, Vettel’s former teammate at Red Bull, have been in contact with McLaren for some time.
After that, it seemed that everything was settled: the Piastre would be upgraded and he would drive alongside Frenchman Esteban Ocon from 2023. But the unusual thing was that the statements of the future pilot were missing from the message.
Chapter Three: Sudden Distortion
Weber, director of Piastri, may have been surprised by the announcement. According to Szafnauer, the 45-year-old was in Australia and would not initially notice anything due to the time difference. The head of the Alpine team sent Webber at least a few text messages and emails in advance. Results? On August 2, Biestre himself made the sudden turn of events. “I did not sign a contract with Alpine for 2023. ‘I will not be driving to the Alps next year,’ wrote Piastri. The message of the race team was wrong and it was not agreed with. Did the Alps really want to create facts without reviewing that young man? Or did Piastri and his manager offend understand something?
Chapter Four: Now?
You see the Alps themselves at right. “We believe our message is legally valid, but we have nothing to say about it,” the team said. Piastre sees it differently. Fighting such a dispute without completing a Formula 1 race is a dangerous mortgage. How clear is the contractual situation? The agreement that Piastre will lead to the Alps in 2023 is currently at least complicated.
For this Alpine can agree with a competitor. If McLaren were indeed unhappy with Australian Daniel Ricciardo, a compensation payment would be conceivable. It would be conceivable the return of Ricciardo, who had already driven for the former Renault team for Alpine in 2019 and 2020. Or the Alpine/Piastri affair would end up in front of the FIA contract room. Alonso should also follow this scenario with great interest.
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