Alpine releases Piastri for McLaren as they eye Pierre Gasly

Alpine releases Piastri for McLaren as they eye Pierre Gasly

According to reports, Alpine is willing to let Oscar Piastri join McLaren, and they have identified Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri as a top contender to drive alongside Esteban Ocon in 2019.

This comes as Piastri refuted Alpine’s declaration at the beginning of August after he had been given the race seat in place of Fernando Alonso, who was moving to Aston Martin. It is believed that the Australian negotiated a deal with McLaren while Alpine, kept him waiting on it as they needed to know Alonso’s future before letting the Formula 2 champion out for other F1 teams.

The Spaniard ultimately struck a deal with Lawrence Stroll, the owner of Aston Martin, after becoming frustrated with being informed that his value was limited to a one-year contract due to his advanced age.

By that time, Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement, Piastri, had apparently found a way to escape his Alpine contract thanks to his manager, Mark Webber, and earned a position with McLaren.  The 33-year-old Australian is also hoping for a seat for the upcoming season, although Mick Schumacher and Gasly are also being considered for the 2023 drive.

However, Alpine is not yet done with Piastri since they believe they are entitled to compensation for the money they invested in his career only for him to reject them. The team has therefore sought resolution from the Contract Recognition Board (CRB) as a result.

Jenson Button attempted to quit BAR in 2005 and 2006 in order to return to Williams, but the CRB determined that he was still bound to BAR and could not join another team. With the Brackley-based team that later changed its name to Honda and subsequently Brawn, the British driver went on to win the world title in 2009.

According to Sky Sports reporter Craig Slater, Alpine no longer wants Piastri in the team and has identified Gasly as their most suitable driver to partner with Ocon for 2023.

“Today there will be a major transfer tug of war potentially resolved,” he said. “Formula 1’s contract review board will meet virtually on a video conference to decide who has the binding contract with the current Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri.”

“He is the F2 champion, McLaren want him to replace Daniel Ricciardo, they already have some kind of contractual agreement with him, but Alpine say their agreement is binding.”

“I understand though that Piastri is no longer Alpine’s preferred option to continue with them… They’ve made enquiries about Pierre Gasly, who is the AlphaTauri driver.”

“He sits within the Red Bull family, he’s into the last year of his contract next season at AlphaTauri.”

“My understanding is if Alpine are prepared to pay a fee for him, then he would be allowed to join them,” Slatter admitted. “So, Alpine will wait to see what kind of compensation, if they win this contractual case, they can perhaps get from McLaren.”

This comes as Piastri missed the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend, and Gasly refrained from bringing up Alpine during his interviews.

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