Piastri opens up about “disturbing” and “bizarre” Alpine F1 behavior

Piastri opens up about “disturbing” and “bizarre” Alpine F1 behavior

Piastri opens up about “disturbing” and “bizarre” Alpine F1 behavior

In the wake of Fernando Alonso’s shocking decision to move to Aston Martin next season, Alpine released a statement shortly afterwards that Piastri would be stepping down to become Esteban Ocon’s team-mate.

But the team’s claim was quickly reprimanded by Piastri, who famously tweeted that the team had made an announcement without his consent.

Speaking to the official F1 website after it was confirmed he would join McLaren in 2023, Piastri expressed disappointment when Alpine took the step to the public.

“My decision [to join McLaren] was made well in advance [of Alonso’s departure]which probably made Alpine’s announcement even more confusing and disturbing because we told the team I was not going to continue,” he said.

“It was quite disturbing because the announcement was false and it also deprived me of the chance to say a proper goodbye to everyone at Enstone.

“I had been with the team for a little over two and a half years now, and for the rest of the team to find out that I was leaving that way was very disturbing.

“I still haven’t had a chance to say goodbye and it’s something I want to do to show my gratitude to all the men and women at Enstone.”

Piastri also revealed how uncomfortable it was for him, knowing what he had informed Alpine, being told during a sim session that the team was making the announcement.

Team boss Otmar Szafnauer revealed last weekend that Piastri “smiled and thanked” when he heard the news.

Looking back at that moment, Piastri said: “That was a bizarre and frankly disturbing episode.

“It was done in public in front of some members of the team who were unaware of the situation and I didn’t want to cause a scene for them.

“When we were private, I told Otmar what our position was and what he had been told several times before that. It was very surprising for me to make that announcement.”

Oscar Piastri, Alpine A521

Oscar Piastri, Alpine A521

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

He added: “It was the greatest moment of my career and probably my life so far. Being incorrectly announced was something that my management and I felt we should correct, and there were also potential legal implications if we didn’t deny the announcement.

“It wasn’t meant to point or in any other way than factual. The last line was pretty strong, but with the CRB ruling it shows it was purely a fact.”

Clearly Piastri had been pushing Alpine for a while for a permanent contract, but says a reluctance by the team to commit at a time when he was a free agent meant the McLaren option was advancing.

“The lack of clarity about my future, and ultimately a breach of trust, I felt that McLaren’s very attractive offer and the positive dealings with them so far were all reasons why I felt McLaren was the best place for me going forward. ,” he said.

“The CRB ruling has confirmed that I was out of contract for the 2023 season” [with Alpine].

“I was free to choose my fate and I felt McLaren was a great opportunity. They were very direct and very excited and eager to have me. To be quite honest, there was uncertainty about my future with the Alpine team.

“They have publicly stated that they want to stay with Fernando for at least one or two more years. I respect that. But after being away for a year my hopes were pinned on an Alpine seat and the lack of clarity and, like Fernando, feeling a bit odd in negotiations, it didn’t feel like it was the right decision for me [to stay around].”

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