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Oscar Piastri rejects Alpine F1 offer amid McLaren Daniel Ricciardo rumour, 2023 grid, news, updates

It’s called silly season for a reason, but this is getting silly right now.

A remarkable series of events played out overnight in Formula 1 – and nothing was resolved this time.

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The circus began when Fernando Alonso surprised Alpine by announcing he was leaving the team to join Aston Martin, which needed a new driver after Sebastian Vettel’s retirement.

In an attempt to get Alpine to have egg on his face and avoid said egg, the fourth-tier outfit has announced that it will promote Australian young gun Oscar Piastieri to its vacant seat.

Piastre, who has served as Alpine’s reserve driver this season after winning back-to-back F2 and F3 championships, has decided to join the grid in 2023 and looks set to decide his future as this release goes live just after 2am (AEST).

But less than two hours later, Piastre further embarrassed Alpine by botching a claim that he agreed to the ad.

“I understand that Alpine F1 issued a press release this afternoon that I will be driving for them next year without my consent,” Piastre said. “This is a mistake and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be able to drive for Alpine next year.”

But that’s only half the story.

In another unpleasant situation for Aussie racing fans, Piastre reportedly clashed with compatriot Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo reaffirmed his commitment to McLaren last week but has endured the toughest time in recent years as Lando Norris’ partner.

Piastieri – and manager Aussie F1 legend Mark Webber – were reading the tea leaves and eyeing Ricciardo’s seat before they knew Alonso was about to be offered a place at Alpine.

There were even reports that they had a deal with the British manufacturer, which will no doubt be challenged in court if Alpine believes it breached its deal with the 21-year-old from Melbourne.

Oscar Piastieri started racing go-carts in Victoria at the age of 11.Source: Herald Sun
Piastre had a brilliant young career.Source: Submitted

Piasstri has been forced to serve his time as Alpine’s reserve driver this year, despite winning three consecutive titles in the Constellation Junior Championship.

F1 analyst Martin Brundle last month predicted the Aussie would find a way onto the 2023 grid.

“Piastri has to be in F1 no matter what next year and he has to take whatever comes his way,” he said.

“He has to excel at everything he gets, like Mark Webber did with Minardi and[Ayrton]Senna did with Tolman for example.

“It won’t be easy for Oscar, but it’s not out of the question.”

There was speculation that Williams could be loaned out in exchange for slowing down the domino effect that has brought the three Aussies into high-level competition since the early 1990s.

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