Though Alpine knew they didn’t have a legally binding contract with Oscar Piastri, they nonetheless took him and McLaren to F1’s Contract Recognition Board as a result of McLaren couldn’t “discipline three automobiles”.
That’s the rationalization for the listening to, based on crew CEO Laurent Rossi.
With Fernando Alonso surprising Alpine when he introduced he could be off to Aston Martin on the finish of the yr, Piastri discovered himself in a tug-of-war as he was seemingly caught between Alpine and McLaren.
Whereas Alpine insisted, a number of instances, that they had a contract with their reserve driver for 2023 and past, it turned out they didn’t.
F1’s Contract Recognition Board dominated the one legitimate contract any crew had with Piastri was McLaren’s.
It begs the query why Alpine took the matter to court docket.
“Quite simple,” Rossi instructed Auto Motor und Sport. “We thought McLaren already had a cope with [Daniel] Ricciardo, so couldn’t provide Piastri one in any respect.
“There are solely two common locations. In our opinion, they couldn’t have signed a 3rd driver as a result of you’ll be able to’t discipline three automobiles.
“We, however, had a free cockpit.”
Nonetheless, McLaren had already sorted that out a full week earlier than the CRB ruling, the crew agreeing an estimated $20million cope with Daniel Ricciardo that may see him depart the crew two years into his three-year contract.
However whereas Rossi concedes Alpine’s cope with Piastri was “not watertight”, he nonetheless feels the younger Australian didn’t do his half.
“The contract drawn up in November 2021 included all of the crucial key factors, proper all the way down to the wage. That must be sufficient,” stated Rossi.
“Okay, perhaps the color of the socks he’s going to put on wasn’t specified but, however with particulars like that the day actually doesn’t matter. Nothing would have modified within the vital components of the contract.
“The conclusion is straightforward – we saved our commitments, he didn’t.”
“We’ll study from these errors,” he added. “However we are able to nonetheless sleep effectively as a result of we principally didn’t do something mistaken.”
Though Alpine acknowledged within the wake of the CRB ruling they’d resolve within the coming days on whether or not to say an early goodbye to Piastri, that call has but to be made.
“Otmar [Szafnauer, team principal] will make clear that in dialog with Piastri, McLaren and our attorneys,” stated Rossi. “Nothing has been determined but. We’ll do what’s finest for us and never for others.”
The Frenchman insists he has no arduous emotions in the direction of McLaren in all of this, saying: “Zak Brown and Andreas Seidl have a duty to their crew to ship the very best efficiency.
“I can’t criticise them for making an attempt to signal the most effective driver pairing. We don’t agree with what occurred, however we don’t maintain McLaren towards it.”
Learn extra: Alpine want to maneuver on from shedding Oscar Piastri to McLaren