Fernando Alonso admitted he was surprised by Oscar Piastri’s rejection of his promotion to an F1 race seat with Alpine for 2023.
The highly rated young Australian was announced by Alpine as Alonso’s successor in the wake of the news of the latter’s move to Aston Martin next year.
But Piastri unexpectedly dismissed his employer’s offer, stating in no uncertain terms in a message on social media that he was not contracted to Alpine for 2023 nor would he ever be.
The former FIA F3 and F2 champion is believed to have signed up to race with McLaren next year, but Alpine is disputing its reserve driver’s stance, a conflict that will be addressed next week by the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board.
- Read also: Alpine says Piastri had ‘thankful’ reaction to 2023 race seat
“It’s difficult to comment,” said Alonso, who rubbished earlier this week rumors that he, along with his manager Flavio Briatore and Piastri’s manager Mark Webber had colluded to disrupt Alpine’s driver line-up for 2023.
“Obviously everyone was surprised and I was. But I think it’s not up to me to comment on this.
“It’s more to the team because I don’t know how exactly is the situation. But I was surprised, yes.”
Addressing par of the reasons for his unanticipated transfer to Aston Martin, Alonso reiterated his belief that Alpine failed to give him the impression that he was being wanted by the French outfit, contrary to the feeling that transpired in his talks with Aston Martin.
“We were moving around in different things and we were not maybe agreeing on the principals,” he said.
“It’s not only what you agree in terms of duration of the contract, it is also the trust that you feel and how you feel wanted in a place, you know and if it was just a temporary thing or facts on a timed watch that they are happy with.
“It was always a strange feeling and, as I said, I felt like it was the right decision to move to Aston because they seemed to really want me and appreciate every performance I put in in the last few years.”
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