Mere hours after being announced as the new BWT Alpine F1 Team driver for the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, Oscar Piastri has disputed the news and insists he will not be racing their next year.
The silly season moves started earlier this week when Fernando Alonso announced he would be leaving Alpine to move to the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team in place of the retiring Sebastian Vettel, and it was expected that Alpine’s current reserve driver Piastri would take his place.
The team announced Piastri earlier on Tuesday afternoon, but the press release lacked any comments from the driver, and the Australian has now released a statement on his social media accounts saying he will not be an Alpine driver next season.
“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,” said Piastri on Twitter.
“This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Piastri’s manager, former Formula 1 racer Mark Webber, is rumoured to be pushing for the Australian to join the McLaren F1 Team next season, possibly in place of Daniel Ricciardo, but it appears the 2021 FIA Formula 2 champion has made it clear he won’t be racing for Alpine.
The news is very similar to the situation Spaniard Alex Palou finds himself in in the NTT IndyCar Series, with Arrow McLaren SP announcing he would be joining the team just hours after Chip Ganassi Racing laid claim to his services.
It could be that McLaren could be on for another controversy with Piastri, but what is clear, silly season is most definitely upon us.