Alpine F1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer says Oscar Piastri’s rebellion against the team has allowed him to acquire faster driver Pierre Gasly, all things considered, profitable.
Last summer, the Alpine F1 team initially announced Oscar Piastri’s promotion to the race seat for 2023, following Fernando Aronos’ shock move to Aston Martin.
However, unknown to the Alpine F1 Team at the time, Oscar Piastri had already signed a contract with McLaren.
The Alpine F1 team challenged the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB), but the CRB declared Oscar Piastri’s contract with McLaren to be valid and Alpine ultimately lost.
Alpine then set its sights on securing the services of Pierre Gasly and managed to get the go-ahead from Red Bull, who used him at AlphaTauri.
“I think it was a process we had to go through that Oscar had a contract with us but the contract approval committee said otherwise,” said Oskar Szafnauer.
“We had to go to the CRB and settle it. You know, that’s life. That’s why there’s an agency that decides if the two sides have different ideas.”
“Let’s see what we do next year. I’m happy that the driving match with Esteban[Ocon]and Pierre better than if we won that lawsuit.”
“Gathly is more experienced and still younger. Time will tell, but I think he will be faster.”
The Alpine F1 Team’s intention to match Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly was initially met with considerable skepticism considering the rift that existed between the two drivers.
But several years have passed since the two had a spark in karting, and the two drivers recently said they could work together in the Alpine F1 team. Otmar Szafnauer trusts both.
“I hope what they say is true and I believe it,” said Otmar Szafnauer.
“I spoke to two people and they both said the same thing.”
“I spoke more with Esteban than with Pierre, because he knew better. I asked: ‘Do you think this is an opportunity to rekindle your friendship? ‘Let’s see if that happens.’ He’s definitely open to it.”
“I haven’t asked Pierre the same question, but if they become friends again or work together professionally, the fit is no different than the other two drivers.”
Category: F1 / Alpine / Pierre Guthrie / Oscar Piastri