Oscar Piastri, Alpine, 2022

Will Piastri’s rift with Alpine put his F1 debut on hold again?

2023 F1 season

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Three weeks ago today the Ganassi IndyCar team issued a press release announcing their driver Alex Palou would remain with them in 2023.

Alongside fulsome praise from team owner Chip Ganassi were a series of incongruously bland comments attributed to the driver. Astonishingly, within a few hours, Palou had not only denied making them but insisted he would not drive for Ganassi in 2023.

So when Alpine issued a press release on Tuesday announcing Oscar Piastri would drive for them in 2023, it didn’t pass without notice that it included no comments whatsoever from the driver. This would have been noteworthy in any case, for what announcement of a driver being awarded their F1 debut is complete without an obligatory line about it being a “dream come true”?

Between the reigning IndyCar champion and the reigning Formula 2 champion, history appeared to be repeating. Sure enough, mere hours after Alpine’s announcement, Piastri issued a denial.

Alex Palou, Ganassi, IndyCar, Long Beach, 2019
For Piastri in F1, read Palou in IndyCar
His response was utterly unambiguous. He asserted Alpine’s press release was “wrong” and issued “without my agreement.” In case anyone was still in any doubt he emphasised that “I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023” and “I will not be driving for Alpine next year.” No wriggle room there.

There is a clear parallel with what’s going on in IndyCar. It subsequently emerged Palou had taken up an offer to join McLaren, and the dispute appears to be heading for the courts.

But even without that similarity Piastri’s story is extraordinary. Under what circumstances does a new driver, handed the rare opportunity to take one of the 20 seats available in F1 (only one of which went to a rookie this year) turn it down?

Piastri became a member of Alpine’s junior driver programme in 2020 (when the team was still known as Renault). They couldn’t have asked him to have done any better than he did by winning FIA Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles the first time of asking. But they had nowhere to place him in F1 this year.

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Did it rankle with Piastri that, despite winning the F2 title at his first attempt, he was passed over for promotion to F1 in favour of a driver who took three years to finish third in the same championship? Perhaps, but to his credit Piastri spoke up in support of his fellow Alpine junior driver Zhou Guanyu following the social media backlash over his deal to join Alfa Romeo.

Oscar Piastri, Alpine, Yas Marina, 2021
Alpine ensured Piastri got F1 seat time in his year out
But while Alpine have ensured Piastri continues to get F1 seat time, a year’s absence from real competition does no driver any good. Piastri will have been desperate to ensure he doesn’t miss the boat and thereby join the list of F2 (previously GP2) champions still waiting for their F1 breaks: Nyck de Vries, Fabio Leimer, Davide Valsecchi…

Until Fernando Alonso’s announcement yesterday, Piastri had little reason to expect an Alpine seat would open up for him next year. The definitive nature of his statement invites the interpretation he is locked in elsewhere. For their part, Alpine say they have nothing further to add to their previous announcement.

If Piastri therefore believes he is committed elsewhere, where might that be? As RaceFans reported yesterday, Alonso’s decision to leave Alpine boosted Piastri’s chances of appearing on the grid, but did not necessarily guarantee he’d end up in the seat vacated by the two-times champion. It was already known Alpine were looking to place him elsewhere.

A quick survey of the confirmed F1 driver line-up for 2023 so far indicates there are few open spaces left, and none at any of the other four teams in the top half of the constructors championship. Has Piastri therefore chosen a less competitive option, or accepted another year on the sidelines in order to secure a guaranteed 2024 seat at a stronger team?

If the former, some of the possibilities were already being explored by Alpine before Alonso dropped his bombshell. Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi confirmed during the French Grand Prix weekend the team was willing to loan Piastri to a rival team on the understanding he would return in the future. Williams was one mooted destination, and its CEO Jost Capito indicated he was open to such an arrangement.

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Is Piastri eyeing Ricciardo’s seat?
If the latter, one team is in obvious need of a driver for 2024: McLaren. Daniel Ricciardo’s second season at the team is going no better than his first.

A contract extension for Ricciardo look like a non-starter. Rumours persist the team may prise him out of his seat a year early, despite Ricciardo’s firm dismissal of such speculation last month. If a 2023 debut was on the table, even as a remote possibility, McLaren’s appeal to Piastri would have been even stronger.

This would, of course, mean that the same team is common denominator in the extraordinary developments in both the IndyCar and Formula 1 driver markets. That stretches credulity, particularly as McLaren are hardly short of driving talent, with several other promising IndyCar talents on their books who would love a shot at F1.

The surprising developments ultimately triggered by Alonso’s latest surprising career move have left some unanswered questions. But the exchange of conflicting statements from Alpine and Piastri tells us one thing: While Alpine copped a lot of flak for failing to arrange Piastri’s F1 debut this year, if it doesn’t happen next year it won’t be because they didn’t offer him a seat.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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87 comments on “Will Piastri’s rift with Alpine put his F1 debut on hold again?”

  1. So the FIA Contract Recognition Board will finally have something to do..?
    They will be the ones resolving any issue between teams over Piastri’s contract(s), and not any civil court as for IndyCar contracts, correct?

  2. You have to assume Webber and co. secured him another a seat if they put out that tweet. If he hasn’t, they’ll probably just be able to extract more money out of Alpine who will be desperate to avoid looking like massive fools by losing Alonso without having secured Piastri with the final consequence of only having a driver no one likes signed for next year.

    1. No one likes?

      1. If you had the free choice among three drivers, and two of those were Fernando and Oscar, few people would choose the third guy to anchor their team. (and now apparently lose both others)

    2. Part of this smells like something pre-planned by Webber and Alonso once the Aston seat was in the bag.

      Something must have gone on behind the scenes at Aston to really annoy Alonso.

      The fact that Alpine had no inkling Alonso would move elsewhere and therefore had no urgency to activate the Piastri option, and then Alonso waited until after that deadline to announce seems like there was clever collusion on the parts of Alonso and Webber.

      1. Sounds very much like there is some sort of background conversation between all of them, including Seb.

        And very much think that Oscar must have some deal wrapped up somewhere and not yet announced for the tweet he made to have gone out. Alpine are really looking like a bunch of idiots here and better get themselves organized sharpish.

    3. Webber’s controversial multi 23 …contracts

  3. BTW, I think Piastri will go to AT for a year and then RBR the next year.

    1. The more i think about it, the more likely I think this scenario is! McLaren move is messy and McLaren have other options, if they have an option at all – rumour is that Riccardio is the one with the option, not McLaren…

      Red Bull junior’s aren’t at Piastri’s level and the years of failing to find a solid no. 2 will give them extra incentive to secure any top tier prospect they can. This makes the most sense.

      Tsunoda has been good but not better than Gasly and Honda has less and less influence over Red Bull drivers. Only Gasly has been confirmed, so like you, say I’m expecting Piastri to AT and then to replace Perez once his contract expires.

      1. @antznz Yeah at first it didn’t make sense, but the more I think about it the more it makes sense. RB have already demonstrated that they’ll happily step outside their programme in the pursuit of talent—indeed Verstappen was picked up relatively late and fast tracked through.

        Tsunoda is either slow and steady or fast and crashing. He really should already be snapping at Gasly’s heels by now and just isn’t. Sure Gasly is very experienced now and has become a fairly stable hand (like Perez), but not WC material and Tsunoda just hasn’t got the same pace.

        I’m not saying it will happen, but it does make sense for RB to slot Piastri in at AT and see if he has the pace to push even Verstappen. From Piastri’s POV if that was on the table it’s hard to say “no” given there’s a clear path to a top team, unlike alternatives around.

        1. Yeah, I think Gasly and Tsunoda have little exciting potential. Tsunoda more because he seems legit mentally unstable and not at all driven.

        2. @justrhysism agreed. Add that Perez seems to be falling further behind Max and one day Max might want to drive elsewhere.. So you’re left gambling over getting Norris/Leclerc in the future or hoping someone else turns up soon and there isn’t anyone in F2 that looks like F1 material currently. Or you snatch Oscar who is the best prospect in years. Red bull know his pedigree after seeing him destroy their candidates last year. And through F3.

          From Piastri’s point of view, it’s a clear path to a top team that is in prime form, that will have an open seat once Perez goes and there’s no one else lined up for it. He has bargaining power so he’ll be well compensated and really, what more could he want? He could even be on the grid this year!?

          I might be wrong here, but it seems to make the most sense of today’s events. For me at least!

          1. @antznz If this would be the case, McLaren would have brought out a statement by no, telling the world the speculation surrounding Piastri moving to McLaren is based on false claims, and possibly they’d state that they have a contract in place with Ricciardo for 2023.
            They wouldn’t be staying as silent as they are.

          2. @antznz Who is leaving at AT? I think Honda’s influence over Tsunoda driving is rather large. I think he is going to get a 3rd year because Honda wants that.

            It is interesting that McLaren may be at the center of both driver issues in 2 different series :)

      2. I am starting to like this theory. Let’s not forget Webber is still massively involved in the Porsche Motorsport world…. RedBull+Porsche+Piastri does sound like an investment for if/when Max decides to win a WDC in a Ferrari :)

        1. @bob2

          f/when Max decides to win a WDC in a Ferrari :)

          Hang on what? Ferrari will need to smarten themselves up internally before they are looking at winning a WDC.

          1. Irony doesn’t always come across on the interwebs apparently…. I was merely poking fun at the number of ex F1 WDCs who, at some stage of their career, decide THEY are the one that will make the difference at Ferrari.

            I am not for a moment really suggesting Max is a Kimi ;)

        2. I initially dismissed this theory about Alpha Tauri, especially after Red Bull announced an extension of the Honda relationship. Tsunoda seems most likely for another year.

          But then i remembered that Webber used to negotiate all his contracts with Dietrich Matesitzh directly. ie face to face with Dietrich. Apparently it used to drive Helmut Marko and Christian Horner insane.

          if that channel of communication is still open to Webber, maybe a seat for Oscar at AT is a possibility

        3. if/when Max decides to win a WDC in a Ferrari :)

          Max is an absolutely dominant driver. Hands down the class of the grid currently. But even he wouldn’t make Ferrari winners. Max isn’t God.

          1. Indeed @todfod, @johnrkh. Look at the team Todt (supported by Montezemelo) brought in together with Schumacher to make them win those championships.

            Unless Max is going to bring Newey and a boatload of other critical people with him (and what about team management, not sure Binotto will be the right leader for it) to more or less overhaul Ferrari completely it won’t happen. Alonso tried, but in the end did not get the team to do it. Max won’t either.

            Ferrari will just be on the “next season will be ours” for another decade, being close to the top with a fast car, and/or great drivers, and/or a super engine, and/or getting strategy right. But to win championships you need all of those at the same time. For a prolonged period, to finetune them.

          2. @bascb
            Max would need to bring the entire red bull team. And move Ferraris factory to somewhere in the UK as well.. So they can poach the right talent.

        4. @bob2

          I guess Webber is over “Multi 21”

    2. If I was Piastri and could sign for McLaren, Alpine or AT I would put McLaren last. Alpine have more security, having been supported by them for many years whilst AT are a potential route to championship winning Red Bull. McLaren offer neither of those.

      1. I’m not sure what has been going on behind the scene’s but Piastri probably should have stayed at Alpine. They paid for him, Alpine paid a boatload of money in advance for him to drive in F3 &F2, they took the risk, be loyal and paid up front with cash out of their own pocket, banking on his future and this is how it’s ending up? For a driver who’s not yet even driven one lap in F1, he’s sure acting like a big player and I could see this effect his brand value with sponsors and any future team down the road that could be looking at him.

        I would guess no racing team would look very highly at a junior driver trying to pull this off on any team with no loyalty. All team owners and team managers know how hard & risky it is, the expense on taking a gamble on a young Jr. driver is huge. This is not a good look that Piastri is portraying. As the old saying goes: “You sleep in the bed you make”. I hope he’s ready to sleep in it.

    3. Perez has a contract for 2024 as well as I understand it?

      1. He did got a 2 year contract so 2024 also. make it hard to insert a new driver or they planning after 2 years of Alpha Tauri but those contracts are also very new and costly.

      2. Electroball76
        3rd August 2022, 14:07

        Perez had a contract with Racing Point too, didn’t he?

  4. Well, the internet is all excited at this news and it seems most pundits are saying McLaren is the team Piastri will be driving for next year. According to Peter Windsor, it will cost them $25 million to get Ricciardo out of the seat.
    If this is correct where will Ricciardo go, he is still a very good driver but he’s just not coming to terms with the McLaren. He was doing better at Renault but would they have him back? Would Redbull have him back, although I don’t think he’d entertain that idea.

    1. Windsor doesn’t know half as much as he pretends, but it will cost a ton whatever happens, which is why I am confused that no is considering Piastri still going to Williams in 2023, but backed by McLaren instead of Alpine and then a McLaren seat for 2024 as a second realistic possibility to what is happening rather than Daniel leaving for huge money in 2023. That seems a lot smarter and cheaper. You don’t have Piastri going up against Lando in his rookie year and you’re not hemorrhaging cash to get Oscar in a car that won’t be competing for a WDC.

    2. A likeable chap Ricciardo but I feel retirement would be best for him. Bottas, Vettel, Tsunoda, Gasly, Magnussen, Ricciardo are all proven drivers in the sense you know they will not improve anymore and frankly there might be better talent around. Latifi and Stroll have no place in the sport at all. F1 really could be much more exciting if it would professionalise its driver market approach and create a healthy flow from F2 into the F1 program.

      1. Piatrsi takes Ricciardo’s seat, and RIC becomes McLaren test/reserve driver so he can drive around Vegas in FP1.

      2. Ricciardo is a proper F1 star that isn’t at one with the McLaren car. He could do wonders back at Renault/Alpine. I can see him quitting McLaren and racing for Alpine. You imagining him retiring is you haring Ricciardo and not understanding what a talent he is.He beat Vettel, He beat Ricciardo. But he is not beating Norris. Norris is Ferrari or Red Bull might smash Leclerc and Verstappen

        1. Nah, norris would perhaps compete with leclerc and verstappen, they’re as fast as anyone in f1.

        2. Nah, Ricciardo is done. He might do ok in a different chassis design but seriously doubt he would do better than other mid-group drivers like Bottas, Vettel, Perez, even Alonso. I was pro Perez like I was with Ricciardo but both drivers are proving to be past their prime, they did do good work and succeeded in F1 but they’re not getting any faster, if anything the future looks slower. Why should any winning potential team want to invest in them? I could see the back marker teams wanting him for engineer info but RIC is proving he’s not able to adapt to the new chassis design so why bother with it?
          As HG Wells wrote: “Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.”

    3. @johnrkh Obviously Daniels’ contract is big money, but Peter Windsor is very much a ‘pinch of salt’ type of source. I’d put him in with ‘people who just like saying stuff’ with Andrew Benson.

  5. I’ll throw one into the ring.

    Leclerc would be extremely attractive to Alpine and has by now realised that there’s no chance of a WDC at Ferrari – they just can’t seem to get their act together.

    Leclerc to Alpine, Piastri to Ferrari (or Ricciardo to Ferrari/Piastri to Mclaren)

    1. @dbradock I just can’t see Leclrec leaving Ferrari. The car is fast. They’re only losing due to team/driver errors. Errors are much easier/cheaper to smooth out than a car which simply isn’t competitive.

      Also Ferrari/Red Bull/Mercedes don’t run rookies without breaking them in in a smaller team first.

      1. @justrhysism they’ve been making team errors consistently for years with no end in sight so I don’t see them fixing them any time soon.

        My take is that they’ve seen more than a fair share of driver errors because their drivers are forced to drive the wheels off the things to try and make up for team failings.

        Agreed it would be incredible for them to take a rookie, which make them grabbing Ricciardo as a good no 2 / possible 1 an option with Piastri going to Mac.

        Bear in mind though my original comment was mostly in jest to highlight how badly Ferrari have been supporting their drivers.

        That being said my original comment

        1. @dbradock

          Bear in mind though my original comment was mostly in jest to highlight how badly Ferrari have been supporting their drivers.

          I really wish emojis were properly supported so tone could be better conveyed 😐

          1. Being a Aussie , l would love to see Oscar in a F1 though he hasn’t turned a wheel in a F1 race as of yet..and when he does the pressure of this chype might be enough to crack him..it’s happened before

        2. Massa, Alonso, Vettel & Leclerc all should have won titles with Ferrari & didn’t.

          Vettel & Leclerc it can be argued that they threw their chances away due to their own mistakes but the amount of strategy errors from Ferrari is staggering.

          They need a shakeup & a new approach.

          1. As they have changed team principals before, they need a ‘new approach’ on how to do the shake-up ;)

          2. Ferrari were always 2nd best Car for all those drivers and current Ferrari too so you can’t say they should have been champions. Raikonnen got super lucky at the end of 2007, but the last time Ferrari had the best car was 2004

          3. Vettel certainly did, both in 2017/18.

            I’m not convinced that the Ferrari’s race pace and reliability is any closer to the RB that RB were to Mercedes in 2019. And whilst LeClerc has made errors – he’d still be struggling to keep up with Max.

      2. @justrhysism

        I can’t see him leaving for a team like Alpine, which has a 1 in a thousand chance of winning a championship.

        Even Ferrari, as bad as they are, have a one in a hundred chance of winning the WDC when they have the best car on the grid.

        1. Broderick, how can you compare the ferrari vs red bull this season to merc vs red bull in 2019? 2019 was a dominant season with the occasional race red bull and ferrari could challenge on merit, this season ferrari is much closer, or even the best car on outright pace but making lots of mistakes.

    2. More chance if a world championship at Ferrari than Alpine. Ferrari is a top 2 car and has a great base for this era. Alpine has the weakest of the 4 power units for this era.

      1. Plus, Alpine’s future in the sport is always questionable. Not to mention that there’s a serious lack of talent in their engineering and engine departments.

    3. Why would leclerc leave ferrari for alpine?? They’re not any better strategy wise and speed we don’t even need to mention!

  6. Rift? Alpine has allowed Piastri’s contract to run out. Alpine created the rift.

  7. What about Zhou’s contract?
    Is he still under Alpine’s umbrella? He was part of their academy too

    1. @turch17 No, he left them altogether when he joined Alfa.

  8. There rarely isnt fire without smoke, so the McLaren rumour is probably the safest bet also with the contractual misunderstandings then it clearly smells like Mr. Brown, but I still can’t stop entertain the thought of Red Bull being the poacher.

    Red Bull could remove their japanese driver in an attempt at luring Honda back. There have been talking of Honda rethinking their strategy and could perhaps reenter in 2026 and this could be used as leverage by Red Bull even though its a small one. They have Iwasa on the books, he isn’t ready to race F1 just yet, but a recommitment from Honda could open up him joining by 2024 if he performs in F2.

    More straight forward it could be a move to secure the best performning junior we have seen since Norris and Russell and in what is, in my opinion, still a competitive F2 generation. He would be the heir apparent to Perez seat in the future if this is the case when other talents have failed to materialize into stars – Tsunoda, Gasly, Vips, Daruvala and Lawson and it is still to early for Iwasa and Hadjar and to put a verdict on them.

    No matter what this is Alpine/Renault once again handling their driver pool like elephants in a glasshouse and picking Zhou over Piastri for last years Alfa seat or simply just Alonso or Ocon over any incoming talent.

    1. Your Honda theory fails in that Red Bull is already committed to Porsche.

      1. Ahh yeah, forgot about that. Thanks for the correction

      2. Are they? They just extended their relationship with Honda. Porsche won’t be around before another 3.5 years, and might not end up being the Porsche/RedBull power unit supplier, it might be Honda powered until 2028.

  9. Something’s not right at Alpine, they lost 2 of their contracted drivers within a few days.

    1. Maybe they’re leaving the grid soon. Would love to see the look on Ocon’s face if that happens. From smug to sweating within seconds… lol

  10. While Alpine copped a lot of flak for failing to arrange Piastri’s F1 debut this year, if it doesn’t happen next year it won’t be because they didn’t offer him a seat.

    Based on Piastri’s reaction they didn’t ‘offer’ the seat, but merely assumed he would accept and rather offered the public a storyline that Alonso leaving didn’t bother them.

  11. Why can’t F1 just let teams run 3 cars? Imagine Alpine with Icon, Alonso and Piastri and McLaren with Norris, Ricciardo and Paluo

    1. In think McLaren would rather just have two strong drivers than offer out a third car to a pretty poor one!

      Not sure the obsession with keeping Ric in F1. He’s had a couple of years now and he’s never reached anywhere near his Red Bull pace. Time for him to move on.

    2. 3-car teams should never happen – there’s already too much political influence on the track in F1.
      They need more teams and more engine suppliers – enough to break those political ties. Either that, or the series needs to take control of engine supply to depoliticise them.

    3. I strongly prefer an extra team (or two or three).
      There is enough money to be spread around and enough potential to grow the pie multiple times.

    4. I like the idea of 3 cars per team IF the third driver is a rookie, and each year one of the 3 drivers has to be replaced with a new rookie.

      They could also run a separate Rookie Sprint Race on a Saturday.

      1. @sonnycrockett one SIMPLE solution would be to allow 11-12 team grids again. The current grid is too small when you take into account the growing number of awful journeymen who are rolling road blocks taking up the few grid slots available(latifi, zhou, stroll , albon etc ) . The only reason we got smaller grids was because greedy teams lobbied bernie wanting a higher percentage of prizemoney and longer exposure of on car advertising on screen.
        You would think that the new American owners Liberty Media would want to emulate indycar and bring more teams into F1 and have have bigger grids.

    5. I like the idea. It will give some trouble with the budget cap, though.

  12. Could AT let Gasly go to Alpine (2 French drivers) who would then let Piastri go to AT? (If Piastri does have a contract, and that’s debatable)

  13. Alpine could go all French with Ocon and Gasly.
    Piastri to McLaren, Nick Devries to Williams, and Daniel Ricciardo to Alpha Tauri as a step up to a likely Red Bull seat. At best Ricciardo could end his career as a number two driver with Porsche at Red Bull. He’d be a great asset to Porsche for their own sports program.

  14. One of the most interesting aspects of this is the complete silence from McLaren. I do wonder if silence equals involvement. Why would they not be saying something like, Daniel has a contract with us for 2023? Bearing in mind the way they have acted before, I still think the Piastri to McLaren move is more likely than him going to AT.

    We shall see though. Maybe they have never had that conversation with Daniel and the story has now exploded.

    1. Complete silence? It has been less than a day and it is another teams issue, not mclaren. Has Piastri mentioned McLaren? No

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        3rd August 2022, 15:11

        I think all the rumours mean that it is now very much their issue. They can keep silent about it if they choose but there are plenty of people asking the question and silence often says more than words…

        If they want it to not be their issue, they can issue a quick Tweet in 5 minutes…. “We have heard the rumours but there is no truth to them. We are very committed to Ricciardo and are looking forward to a strong 2nd half to the season.”

        Done – not their problem anymore. Remaining silent means the speculation will only get louder and louder.

        1. <blockquote>If they want it to not be their issue, they can issue a quick Tweet in 5 minutes…. “We have heard the rumours but there is no truth to them. We are very committed to Ricciardo and are looking forward to a strong 2nd half to the season.”
          Nah, not done. A statement like that should always be taken with a grain of salt and usually infers that the opposite is true.
          “I have a contract” Perez
          “I’m not in talks with Alpine” Otmar
          and many more examples.
          Reporters will continue to hound and speculate until all seats are confirmed regardless of tweets, press releases etc etc.

  15. I hear that Williams Racing have tweeted ‘Announcement @ 15.00 BST’!! Unless it’s fake news.

    It could be Piastri going there? Would seem like madness when he has a seat at Alpine on offer to him. Who knows?

    1. Stop jumping the gun, it doesn’t say ‘2023 driver announcement’

      1. Albon to stay in 2023…..

        Wow – earth shattering…

        1. Not as exciting news as I hoped. Good for Albon though.

        2. “for 2023 and beyond”

          I guess now we have to wait the obligatory 1 day cool-down period to see if Albon denies this ;)

    2. If they announce they’ve signed Piastri, will anybody believe them?

      Maybe they’ve signed Álex Palou. Or they’re announcing a fire alarm test.

  16. This is the second junior driver in months to pour napalm all over their relationship with a motor racing team and then start throwing fireworks around. Someone should do them a nice graph which shows “number of top flight motor racing seats capable of winning races” vs “number of rich kids throwing daddy’s money around”. I am not sure they properly appreciate how irreplaceable drivers actually are, i.e. “extremely”.

    1. Confusing statement, unless you mean “replaceable”?

  17. These McLaren rumours for Piastri seem rather confusing to me, based on the available data.

    For 2023 McLaren will have F1 team (2 drivers), Indycar team (3 drivers) and FE team (2 drivers). 7 drivers in total and they already have them. Norris, Ricciardo and O’Ward on existing contracts, they re-signed Rosenqvist, and the newcomers will be Rossi, Herta and Palou. I don’t know if I am wrong, but I read somewhere that there was a clause on Palou’s contract for that to break only should there be a chance for him to drive in F1. I honestly can’t see where Piastri would fit here, unless McLaren is willing to pay this huge compensation to Danny Ric.

    We also know that at McLaren aren’t quite happy with Ricciardo’s performance these 2 years and that both Liberty and McLaren would like to see a US driver in F1 sometime in the future. So, with the existing data, If i try to do a reasonable guess for the line-ups of 2023, it would be: FE: Rosenqvist, Rossi (Rossi meets the requirement for a US driver, but he kind of left from F1 as failed, so I don’t see him ever returning). Indy: O’Ward, Ricciardo, Herta and F1: Norris, Palou. And as of 2024, I can smell a possible transfer of Norris to Mercedes in the place of Hamilton, and then Herta (a US driver) joins McLaren F1 as teammate of Palou.

    As for Piastri, and given the situation with the contracts at McLaren, we already know that Gasly, even though he re-signed, he isn’t quite happy where he is stuck now, so I wouldn’t rule out a potential involvement of RB here, to hand him out to Alpine and get their rights of Piastri. Plus, lately Marko isn’t quite happy with Perez and I have a feeling that this contract also will be broken before its end. So, a 2024 line-up VER and PIA at RB makes total sense.

    I maybe missing something here, but all these totally add up in my mind.

  18. I’d suggest quit wasting time trying to get into F1 and go to IndyCar like your fellow Alpine mate Lundgaard.

  19. What do you think, is there a possibility that Vettel will change his mind and drive for Alpine?

    1. No, his statement was clear. I think Vettel will stay retired after this year.

  20. Reliable but unconfirmed source stated the reason Alonso left was strictly caused by the lack of leadership by the team in the way ocon ruined his race. The French culture prevailing and they did not solved the tension.

  21. Why on earth would Piastri favour McLaren over Alpine? Forget Ricciardo, McLaren have one of the best talents in Norris who has been at the team since 2017 and don’t look anywhere near producing a car that can compete for anything other than a mid field battle. It’s sounds crazy. Ricciardo should take the offer up to move back to Alpine if any of this narrative is true. It has to be Piastri going to AT.

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