Aug.9 - Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and Flavio Briatore may have "shared information" that led to the Oscar Piastri saga which appears destined for court.

Spaniard Alonso triggered the 'silly season' shenanigans by opting to reject Alpine's offer of a one-year contract extension for 2023 and switch to Aston Martin on a multi-season deal.

Renault-owned Alpine reacted instantly by confirming its 21-year-old Australian reserve driver Piastri, the reigning Formula 2 champion, would replace Alonso.

Alpine F1 team boss upset about Piastri's latest behaviour

Oscar Piastri

But Piastri, who is managed by Mark Webber, rejected the deal - apparently because McLaren has now told Daniel Ricciardo that the younger Australian - Piastri - will be replacing him for 2023.

"What Laurent Rossi was trying to do was what was best for both drivers," said new Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer, referring to the CEO.

"We wanted to continue with Fernando, and Oscar wanted a seat in 2023. Laurent gave the ok and has been working very hard to find him that seat for next year."

Alpine's apparent plan was to 'loan' Piastri to Williams - but the 21-year-old now appears to destined to be Lando Norris' McLaren teammate next year.

"We were trying to do what was best for both drivers without playing games with either of them. We were transparent with them," Szafnauer insisted.

"They knew what was going on. Unfortunately, Alonso signed with Aston Martin and I understand why. But Piastri? No."

Some suspect Alpine has been totally outmanoeuvred by a typical backroom deal involving Alonso, Piastri's manager Webber, and Briatore - with the trio all linked from their past F1 careers.

"Are you suggesting that they may have shared information with each other?" Szafnauer asked the reporter for the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial.

"Look, I have no evidence of that, but this is Formula 1. Maybe in a couple of years, if someone says they have evidence of shared information then I would not be surprised.

"I always tell everyone that in Formula 1 you have to behave as though everyone knows everything. That there are no secrets in these things," said Szafnauer.

He says he is most upset about Piastri's behaviour, as the F2 champion has benefited from Alpine's development program and is now jumping ship before racing a single lap for the Renault-owned team.

"I expected more loyalty from Piastri," said Szafnauer. "For the team that has taken care of him, took him to the world championship and above all put him in a Formula 1 car so that he was ready and knew the circuits.

"I expected more loyalty from Oscar than he is showing. I started in Formula 1 in 1989 and I had never seen anything like it. And it's not just about Formula 1, but about integrity as a human being," he charged.

"For me, the way I grew up, if you say 'hey, help me today and tomorrow I'll help you', there's no way I would go back on my word. No way," Szafnauer said.


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12 F1 Fan comments on “Alpine F1 team boss upset about Piastri's latest behaviour

  1. shroppyfly

    Good , so a 21yr ,MW and Flav can outsmart a CEO can they, , its not more THEY they expected of Pia , its US that expected more of YOU Monsieur Rossi

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  2. smokey

    Let's put this in perspective ~ Oscar Piastri wasn't guaranteed a drive for Alpine in 2023, except maybe with Williams, as Fernando had first choice. Mark Webber managed to get Oscar a drive with McLaren to replace the ailing Daniel Ricciardo. Why wouldn't Oscar accept it? Of course he would take it! At that time he wasn't assured of a drive anywhere, however, this meant he was assured of a drive in a competitive car for 2023.
    Unexpectedly, Fernando ditched Alpine about the same time as Oscar committed to McLaren. At the time, Szafnauer wouldn't give Oscar a drive for 2023 and maybe beyond, so Oscar decided he wanted to secure his future. Bad luck Szafnauer, you got caught out!

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    • ReallyOldRacer

      Smokey, if your timing scenario is correct than PIA's decision makes perfect sense. Do you have inside information other than journo's meanderings that he has a contract with McL for 2023?

      Aside, Webber, Alonzo and Flav' conspiracy is great stuff. Three guys who have made some fabulous career decisions in the past. LOL

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      • smokey

        No ROR, no inside information. Just the chain of events and reading between the lines of statements quoted from the key players.
        I mean, put yourself in Oscar's position ~ an opportunity with certainty at McLaren against a maybe at best with Alpine or Williams! As Fernando was doing the deal with Stroll, Oscar was doing the deal with Brown. If Szafnauer had provided some certainty, then I dare say Oscar would have stayed with Alpine.
        Hey, you are correct. Webber, Flavio and Fernando are all good mates and have been around the scene for longer than Szafnauer! And they are smarter too!

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          • smokey

            ROR, I know you weren't disagreeing. I know you are a reliable and honest person here, who doesn't go on rants and raves as some do! I respect you and Shroppy and a few others for your views and input.
            Unfortunately, my days of inside information have passed, although I sometimes get tid-bits of interesting stories which sometimes come to fruition!

    • f1award

      Spot on smokey, that's exactly how I saw it. When McLaren came a calling at the very best Oscar might have had a Williams drive at worst he'd have no drive at all.

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  3. KurtLae

    I believe that Smokey is right.
    But, as far as I know, Piastri has not been confirmed as a new driver for McLaren.

    What if Ricciardo stays with McLaren for next year ?
    It is said that it will be costly to buy him out. It might also be costly to step out of whatever contract Piastri has with Alpine.

    So, for Piastri, worst case scenario could be that he has to wait another year for a McLaren contract.
    His bridges at Alpine seem to have been burned, or...

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  4. who_cares

    alonso was offered a 1yr guarantee at alpine who were blowing smoke up his ass about a 2nd year and nando knew it cos they had to give the seat to piastri

    they can talk shit about a moral high ground but really they just got caught with their pants down

    their first mistake was signing ocon - who nobody else wanted - to a long deal

    burned bridges? maybe - but everyone bed hops so much that it'll probably only bite oscar and webber in the ass if the kid ain't as quick as everyone thinks he is

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  5. Donalf

    I'm beginning to like this Piastri I think he could be good for f1 & the fan club, to be honest he's causing a huge commotion & he hasn't started driving yet, keep it up Piastri you'll go far.

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