After Fernando Alonso’s shock decision to sign with Aston Martin for next year, the Alpine F1 side have been quick to agree with their reserve driver Piastri what they believe is agreement already reached.
She announced the deal on Tuesday afternoon, a day after announcing that Alonso would be leaving after the campaign.
However, in the hours after the Alpine announcement, Piastri insisted on social media that he had not signed any agreement with the team and would not be racing in 2023.
“I am aware that, without my consent, Alpine F1 issued a press release later this afternoon saying I will be driving for them next year,” Piastri wrote.
“That’s wrong, I haven’t signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I won’t be driving to the Alps next year.”
His comments are understood to follow a push by Piastri and his management to secure a seat at McLaren next year.
It has been suggested that the youngster could even sign a preliminary contract with McLaren, meaning he will commit to joining Woking when Alpine’s option expires.
It is known that as part of a long-term agreement with Alpine Piastri, if it wants to go ahead with the contract, it must guarantee a seat in F1 racing by a date in 2023.
Crucial to the matter now is whether such a date comes into play and whether there is a window for Alpine’s rights to expire.
But despite Piastri’s testimony and his unequivocal belief that he won’t be driving it in 2023, Alpine is understood to be convinced that its contract has a solid legal basis.
This means that if there is a dispute between Piastri and another team, it may have to be resolved by Formula 1’s contract recognition committee.
A panel of independent lawyers will then read the terms of the contract with Piastri and determine who will have his rights next year.
Ahead of Piastri’s announcement on Tuesday, team owner Otmar Szafnauer said he had no doubts that Alpine was entitled to his services next year.
“We have the right to take him,” he said. ‘We have priority’