F1 World Grabs Their Popcorn as Oscar Piastri Singlehandedly Breaks the Internet

Published 08/03/2022, 3:13 AM EDT
MONZA, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 10: Pole position qualifier Oscar Piastri of Australia and Prema Racing celebrates in the Paddock during qualifying ahead of Round 5:Monza of the Formula 2 Championship at Autodromo di Monza on September 10, 2021 in Monza, Italy. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Formula 1 fans may have assumed that the F1 action would take a back seat during the summer break. However, the driver market had a different idea, and the controversy keeps stirring up in the paddock. Alpine captured headlines with their announcement that their 2022 reserve driver, Oscar Piastri, would drive for them in the 2023 season, replacing outgoing double world champion, Fernando Alonso.

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A few moments after the press release, Piastri took to social media and dismissed this announcement. The Aussie tweeted, “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. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”

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Given that this is the peak every motorsport driver aims to reach one day, such a turn of events has raised innumerable questions and everyone awaits to see how this story unfolds.

Can Oscar Piastri switch from Alpine to McLaren?

The 2021 Formula 2 winner is a popular figure in the paddock and is a proven driver in the junior categories. Ever since his triumph, he has been waiting patiently for his F1 opportunity to arrive. As he is the contracted reserve driver for the Renault-powered team, Oscar Piastri is contractually obligated to Alpine.

Alpine team principal, Otmar Szafnauer, shared the contract details, saying, “I’m not privy to whatever pre-arrangements he has with McLaren, if any at all.” 

“But I hear the same rumours that you do in the pitlane. But what I do know is that he does have contractual obligations to us. And we do to him. And we’ve been honouring those obligations all year. And those obligations, last through ’23, and possibly in ’24, if some options are taken up.”

“And our obligations to him this year was to be a reserve driver, to also put him in last year’s car for a significant amount of time. We’re well over half that programme of 5000 kilometres (3106.8 miles), which isn’t insignificant, in last year’s car, in preparation for a race next year.”

DIVE DEEPER

Fernando Alonso Savagely Left Alpine Blindsided With Sudden Aston Martin F1 Move

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The Perth-born racing driver, managed by Mark Webber, is highly linked with McLaren. Do you think the Aussie would replace his compatriot, Ricciardo, in the papaya team for 2023?

F1 Twitter erupts over the Oscar Piastri-Alpine feud

Following the announcement, all major F1 social media accounts welcomed Oscar Piastri with open arms for the 2023 season. However, after the Australian caught everyone out of the blue, it set up a frenzy on F1 Twitter.

Roscoe Hamilton on the F1 grid? Even that looks quite ‘Pawssible’ following all this silly season drama!

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Who do you think the Aussie ace would sign for in the future? Let us know.

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Anish Arora

193 articles

Anish Arora is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. It is the competitive nature of the sport that not only made him an adherent follower of F1, but also inspired him to start his journey as an author for the most prestigious racing series in the world. Anish initially started writing for Formula 1 during his undergrad and now is a huge fan of the 'Silver Arrows'.

Edited By: Reubyn Coutinho

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