“Better Even Than McLaren’s…”: Alpine F1 Boss Wrecks Prime Oscar Piastri Target With Ruthless Comparisons

Published 08/07/2022, 10:25 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 24, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The tug of war between Alpine and McLaren regarding Oscar Piastri has consumed the headlines. The young Australian did not plan to continue at Alpine, regardless of Fernando Alonso’s decision. In the unlikeliest of situations, the French team lost out on both Alonso and Piastri while trying to retain both.

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The actions of the two drivers blindsided the French team as they now look for a replacement. Now, following the public statements from both drivers, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer shared his two cents on the situation.

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Szafnauer, while discussing Piastri’s move to McLaren, said, “Luca de Meo [CEO of Renault] has a great vision, he has resurrected the brand.” (Translated by Google)

“The strategic plan is very good and Piastri knows it. Better even than McLaren’s. We are ahead of them in the championship and we hope to be ahead of them at the end of the World Cup. The future of the team? We have a big budget and people with a lot of experience,” added the Alpine boss.

Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 16, 2021 Aston Martin team principal and chief executive officer Otmar Szafnauer during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

However, the Romanian could not justify Piastri’s actions to move to a rival team. “In our future, in that 100-race plan that we are all working on, I think there is also room for Piastri. And we have supported him.”

“There should be some loyalty to the fact that we have literally invested millions and millions of euros to prepare him. So I don’t get it either, you should ask him,” concluded Szafnauer.

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The team is definitely not happy with the actions of Piastri as they lose out on a future prospect in the Australian. However, this might’ve opened doors for the experience of a different Australian.

McLaren in surplus. Will Alpine make lives easy for their rivals?

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With Piastri’s contract all but confirmed for the 2023 season, McLaren has a surplus of drivers on their hands. Alpine, on the other hand, has lost its second and reserve driver.

Formula One F1 – Hungarian Grand Prix – Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary – July 29, 2022 McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo during practice REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

The situation with Piastri and Ricciardo means that Alpine can try to get its experienced Australian back to the team. However, Ricciardo did not end his then-Renault partnership on the best terms with the top management, and this might become an obstacle.

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Watch This Story: Struggling ‘Honey Badger’ Daniel Ricciardo Once Dominated the Streets of Azerbaijan in Glorious 2017

Will Ricciardo take the vacant at Alpine seat or will there be a new twist in the tale? The coming weeks will surely reveal everything ahead of the restart.

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Mahim Suhalka

547 articles

Mahim Suhalka is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. This Sports Management post-graduate is an ardent supporter of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team and their lead driver, Lewis Hamilton. The fact that Lewis dominated one of the most expensive sports in the world for all these years, despite his humble beginnings, has been a huge inspiration for Mahim and has made him a tenured fan of the competitive sport itself.

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