Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has known as out Oscar Piastri’s integrity forward of an important assembly over the Australian Formulation One hopeful’s contract standing.
The 21-year-old appears to be like set to drive for McLaren subsequent yr after the British team negotiated a buyout with Australian race winner Daniel Ricciardo.
However Piastri’s contract dispute with Alpine continues to be rumbling within the background and will come to a head this week.
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Alpine will head into arbitration with the game’s Contract Recognition Board on Monday hopeful of vindication over Piastri and his supervisor, Australian F1 nice Mark Webber.
The pair secretly accomplished a cope with McLaren when Alpine believed that they had Piastri beneath contract for 2023 and past.
“He’s a promising young driver,” Szafnauer mentioned on the Belgian Grand Prix on Friday.
“He hasn’t driven in F1 yet. And my wish for Oscar was that he had a bit more integrity.
“He signed a piece of paper as well back in November and we’ve done everything on our end of the bargain to prepare him for F1.
“And his end of the bargain was to either drive for us, or take a seat where we would place him for the next three years.
“And I just wish Oscar would have remembered what he signed in November and what he signed up to.”
The state of affairs exploded in the beginning of August when Alpine, reeling from the shock defection of Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin, introduced Piastri had been promoted to a race seat for 2023.
Piastri subsequently set hearth to that concept, and with it his relationship with the team.
“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,” he tweeted.
“This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Piastri had lengthy been anticipated to affix backmarkers Williams, owing to Alonso re-signing with Alpine, however rumours started to swirl of one other deal when these bulletins by no means got here to go.
He and Webber had been understood to have grown annoyed by the prospect of serving out an apprenticeship with the team on monitor to assert a fourth last-place end within the final 5 years.
Ricciardo grew to become the odd man out when it emerged McLaren had been the thriller team behind Piastri’s salvo.
The Australian veteran might now land on his ft at Alpine, the constructor referred to as Renault when he raced for them in 2019 and 2020.
“The team speak very highly of Daniel and his time here,” Szafnauer mentioned.
“We haven’t had those strategic (contract) discussions yet, but everybody I ask, the engineering team, they really speak highly of his skill as a driver and as a team motivator.”
Piastri’s radio silence
Ricciardo, in the meantime, mentioned he’s open to a return to Alpine to fill the emptiness left by Piastri.
The 33-year-old additionally revealed he had not spoken to the young driver or Webber in latest months.
“I don’t think there’s been a reason for him to reach out,” Ricciardo mentioned at Spa.
“I’m sure they’re going through their stuff as well. I’ve been trying to sort my stuff out.”
Regardless of Piastri serving to to push him out of McLaren, Ricciardo mentioned he’ll maintain no grudge towards him.
“I honestly still don’t know what the future holds for Oscar,” he mentioned, noting McLaren are but to publicly acknowledge their Piastri contract.
“Obviously Mark’s doing his job for Oscar, I don’t take any of that personal.
“Assuming Oscar, I think, is kind of guaranteed a spot on the grid next year somewhere, I will support him, and I will support a fellow Aussie.”