Double world champion Alonso will join Aston Martin after the season. The 41-year-old Spaniard will replace four-time champion Sebastian Vettel in the squad, which will retire after this season.
“When you’re in the paddock you get a lot of speculation. And I’ve heard Aston Martin are interested. But usually things like that are discussed for a while, but I learned about the start directly from the press release,” Szafnauer said.
“I was a little surprised because when I asked Fernando he said he hadn’t signed anything,” Szafnauer added, noting that Alpine was trying to keep the tenth-placed driver in this year’s championship. .
“We offered him a one-year contract with an option. I said to him: Listen, if you have the same performance next season, then of course we will keep you. And it could have continued like that. But he wanted without doubt we have long-term security, regardless of performance,” added Szafnauer.
Alonso’s successor immediately introduced Alpine. He was supposed to be the team’s current reserve driver, twenty-one-year-old Piastri. In the official Alpine press release, there was an unusual comment from the rider himself right from the start, which instead came out on social media a few hours later.
“I noticed that Alpine F1 issued a press release late afternoon without my consent that I will be driving for them next year. This is not true and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I won’t be driving for Alpine next year,” said Piastri, a team academy member since January 2020.
According to media reports, one of motorsport’s biggest talents is looking for a more lucrative entry than Alpine offers. The Australian won the Formula 3 series in 2020 and the Formula 2 series the following year, which in the past had only been won by five drivers led by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.
“Extreme gamer. Food geek. Internet buff. Alcohol expert. Passionate music specialist. Beeraholic. Incurable coffee fan.”