‘THIS IS WRONG’ – Alpine announce Oscar Piastri as Alonso’s replacement – but star reveals he has NOT signed a deal
FORMULA ONE team Alpine have been plunged into chaos after losing TWO drivers in less than 48 hours.
First Fernando Alonso stunned the Oxfordshire-based team with his switch to Aston Martin, with Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer learning of the Spaniard’s departure through Aston’s own press release.
And then after Alpine had confirmed his replacement as Oscar Piastri, the highly-rated Aussie driver said he was NOT joining the F1 team next year.
It is an astonishing development that has left Alpine looking ridiculous at having two talents stolen from under their noses.
Szafnauer, who thought they were about to extend Alonso’s deal, said: “The first confirmation I had was the press release. I did ask the question [to Alonso], and I was told: ‘No, no, I haven’t signed anything.’ So I was a bit surprised.”
Piastri later Tweeted following Alpine’s own statement and said: “I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year.
“This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
It is understood that he will instead join McLaren, who bizarrely have Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo already under contract.
Ricciardo is the likely candidate to make way but McLaren could face a legal battle with the Aussie insisting he has a deal for 2023.
Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton is set to become a part-owner of NFL side Denver Broncos.
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The Walter-Penner family are buying the Colorado-based outfit for £3.8billion.
And British Formula One icon Hamilton (right) will be added to the ownership group as a “limited shareholder”.
The seven-time world champ said: “Honoured to work with a world-class team and serve as an example of the value of more diverse leadership across all sports.”