Oscar Piastri surprised the F1 public after he refused to race for Alpine next season. After Fernando Alonso decided to race for Aston Martin next season, Alpine announced that Ocon and Piastri will be partners from 2023. However, Piastri denied such allegations.
RacingNews365.com journalists learned that Piastri has agreed everything with McLaren. Otmar Szaufnauer reacted to the whole story for Confidencial.
"We have a contract with Piastri, which he signed in November, we have spoken to our lawyers and they have told us that this is a binding contract, so part of that contract allows us to put Oscar in one of our cars in 2023, which is the reason we issued the press release," Szafnauer said.
"There is also an option for 2024 and the possibility for us to 'loan' the driver to another team. We wanted Fernando with us for one more year and then a 'loan' of Oscar for 2023." Szafnauer had the idea to give Piastri a chance and to be the mainstay of the team, however..
"I have always said in all my press conferences that Piastri would be in Formula 1 in 2023 and it is because I knew he could be in our car or in another car, on loan, if Fernando had stayed. But Alonso, for whatever reason – and I think I know the reasons, although you should ask him – he goes to Aston Martin.
So, we started to finalise the agreement with Piastri, and instead of giving him away, we decided to put him in our car. Hence, the statement."
Szafnauer believes that such a move was not necessary for the young driver.
Loyalty and dedication were expected from him, but he did not show it. "I expected more loyalty from Piastri," Szafnauer commented. "He should have it with that team that has taken care of him, that has taken him to the World Championship and, above all, that during the last year has put him in a Formula 1 car so that he would be ready, so that he would know the circuits.
"I expected more loyalty from Oscar than he is showing. I started in 1989 in Formula 1 and I've never seen anything like this. And it's not about Formula 1, it's about integrity as a human being. "It could happen in ice hockey or soccer, it doesn't matter.
But you don't do that. He signed a piece of paper, a document, saying he would do something different. "For me, the way I grew up, I don't need to sign a piece of paper and then have someone say, 'You're lying, because you signed this.'
For me, if you say, 'Hey, help me, I'll help you tomorrow,' there's no way I would go back on my word. No way. "You did everything I asked you to do (from Alpine to Piastri) and now I promise you that if you do this, I will do this. I don't need a piece of paper where it says, 'With a clause, I can get out of here'