Oscar Piastri has categorically denied agreeing to race for Alpine next season, and insists he will not race for them in 2023.
In a remarkable turn of events, the 21-year-old has refuted the claims that he will be racing for the Enstone team in 2023, just hours after he was announced as Alpine’s second driver for next season.
With Fernando Alonso confirming on Monday that he would be making a switch to Aston Martin for 2023, Alpine sought to quickly confirm their own driver line-up.
As Alpine’s official reserve driver, Piastri had been the favourite for the second Alpine seat, and the announcement had been of little surprise.
Piastri was known to be admired by other teams. He was previously linked with a loan move to Williams and had been linked with McLaren in recent days.
The extent of Piastri’s – and manager Mark Webber’s – discussions with McLaren remain unknown, but the Australian’s denial is the biggest indicator yet that a battle for his services could be on.
Piastri: ‘I will not be driving for Alpine next year’
The timing of Alpine’s press release had been quick, but the surprising element was a lack of driver comment in the team’s official press release, which has become standard practice.
Instead, Piastri’s first comments on the deal came via social media, where he gave a damning contradiction to Alpine’s statements.
“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,” said Piastri via Twitter.
“This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Alpine are yet to provide a comment on Piastri’s statement.