Who is Oscar Piastri? F1 starlet’s row with Alpine explained

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The starlet, managed by former racing driver Mark Webber, has been linked with the seat of McLaren F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo

This makes the Dutchman the clear leader for this year’s World Drivers’ Championship as closest rival Charles Leclerc lost even more ground in the title race.

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One team whose plans for next season are already in disarray is Alpine F1.

Alpine believe it has tied Oscar Piastri to a contract for the 2023 season (Image: Getty Images)

So what happened to the Enstone team – and who is Oscar Piastri?

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Here’s everything you need to know.

What is Alpine F1?

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Alpine F1 is one of the 10 teams making up the 2022 F1 grid and is currently fourth in the Constructors Championship.

Formerly known as Renault, the outfit is now named after one of Renault’s sports car brands – Alpine.

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It currently has two-time world champion Fernando Alonso as its de facto lead driver, while Esteban Ocon – a Grand Prix winner himself – is the other driver on its roster.

Oscar Piastri driving the 2021 Alpine in Abu Dhabi after the end of last season (Image: Getty Images)

All F1 teams have at least one reserve driver who can step in if one of their main drivers falls ill or is otherwise unable to drive.

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In the case of Alpine, that driver is Oscar Piastri.

Who is Oscar Piastri?

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Oscar Piastri, 21, is a highly rated racing driver from Australia.

That achievement means the young Australian has risen to the top of the sport with more consecutive titles than any previous rider.

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He is mentored by former Red Bull driver and multiple race winner Mark Webber.

What is Oscar Piastri’s dispute with Alpine F1?

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Alpine’s plans for the 2023 F1 season were thrown into turmoil when Fernando Alonso announced he was leaving the Aston Martin F1 Team.

The 41-year-old Spaniard was reportedly close to signing a deal to keep his seat with the Enstone team but opted for Aston Martin on Monday (1 August).

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Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso will drive for Aston Martin in 2023 (Image: Getty Images)

The press release included a statement from Alpine Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, who described him as “a bright and rare talent”.

The racer confirmed this on Twitter late Tuesday, saying the press release was issued without his approval.

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“That is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I won’t be driving for Alpine next year,” Piastri wrote on his account.

Who could Oscar Piastri drive for in 2023?

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It was speculated who Oscar Piastri could drive for in 2023.

He is most closely linked with McLaren, where his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo has been struggling for results since joining from Renault in 2021.

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In fact, Ricciardo was first linked with a seat at Alpine when it was announced that Fernando Alonso was leaving the team.

There is a prospect of a trade-off between the two teams.

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Oscar Piastri could drive for McLaren (Image: Getty Images)

The other team in the frame for Piastri is Williams.

The Oxfordshire team, currently bottom in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships, have yet to extend Nicholas Latifi’s contract beyond the end of the 2022 season.

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That means they’re currently the only team with a vacancy for 2023 – although other teams could yet announce they will be changing their line-ups.

The other option for Piastri is to take the seat at Alpine.

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However, that eventuality only seems likely if Alpine can prove they have a contract tying Piastri to the team for the 2023 season.

For this purpose, the contract dispute will probably have to go before the contract recognition body (CRB) of the umbrella organization of the FIA ​​- F1.

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Oscar Piastri has more racing experience than any other F1 rookie (Image: Getty Images)

This dispute resolution mechanism, made up of independent lawyers, would decide whether the team has any influence over the Australian rider.

The CRB was previously called into action when former World Champion Jenson Button attempted to leave British American Racing (BAR) for Williams in 2004.

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BAR claimed the right to exercise a contract option over the British driver, with the CRB ruling in the team’s favour.

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