In the history of the Formula 1 driver market, the summer of 2022 will be remembered for one of the strangest and most controversial cases that has ever occurred. At the end of the Hungarian GP, immediately after Fernando Alonso’s sudden official status in Aston Martin in 2023, theAlpine he had almost immediately announced the Spaniard’s replacement with his third driver, namely the reigning Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri. Too bad that, in the following hours, the Australian driver himself sensationally denied this officiality, stating that he had instead signed with the McLarenand this time as an official driver.
That was the beginning of ‘Piastri case’, which went on for a month in a continuous question and answer between Alpine and McLaren on the contractual rights of the 21-year-old, then recognized by the FIA in favor of the Woking house. During that time, however, there was no shortage of comments from Otmar SzafnauerAlpine team principal, against Piastri himself, accused of poor integrity and to have refused a seat in Williams for 2023, as also confirmed by Chief Executive Officer Laurent Rossi. Considerations which, with regard to the CEO, were not appreciated by another Chief Executive Officer, who this time responds to the name of Zak Brownbelonging to the McLaren universe.
The US manager, interviewed by BBCin fact considered Szafnauer’s statements regarding his new driver, fresh from the post-season tests on the Yas Marina circuit, to be incorrect: “I was very impressed with how Oscar performed over the summer – he has declared – I thought Otmar’s comments towards him were very unfair and inaccurate, especially after witnessing what also happened with the FIA Contract Recognition Commission. I think Otmar did it very inaccurate and incorrect in questioning its integrity. Piastri was very mature throughout the whole process. For a 21-year-old facing all that pressure and spotlight, he hasn’t flinched and kept his head down. I think he will be a future star ”.
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