Oscar Piastri says he has not signed a deal in principle to race for Alpine in Formula 1 in 2023 despite the team’s announcement earlier on Tuesday.
Alpine released a brief statement via its social media channels confirming Piastri would replace Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso at the Enstone-based outfit next year.
This came without a comment from Piastri in the press release, fuelling suggestions that the matter was far from resolved due to the Australian and his manager Mark Webber holding talks with McLaren over a seat for 2023 despite current driver Daniel Ricciardo having a contract in place for next year.
Just hours after Alpine’s announcement, Piastri posted a statement on his Twitter account that Alpine had announced this against his will, denying he would make his F1 debut with the team in 2023.
“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,” Piastri wrote.
“This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer admitted it had been caught unaware of Alonso’s decision to leave for Aston Martin when the move was announced.
It had been expected Alonso would remain at Alpine prior to his decision, prompting Piastri to look for a drive elsewhere for next season.
Williams had been tipped as the likely destination for Piastri, but the 2021 Formula 2 champion instead pursued a deal with McLaren.
Alpine claimed Piastri has an obligation to drive for the team next year in an attempt to thwart off competition for his signature.
But it is understood Alpine may have missed the deadline to commit to having Piastri in one of its race seats, which has prompted suggestions it could face a legal battle over his services.