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Szafnauer wishes Piastri had “a bit more integrity” over F1 contract dispute

Alpine Formula 1 team boss Otmar Szafnauer says he wishes that Oscar Piastri had “a bit more integrity” after the Australian signed a contract with McLaren.

Oscar Piastri, Reserve Driver, Alpine F1 Team

Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Alpine is in dispute with its protege and reserve driver, and the matter will go to the Contract Recognition Board next week.

Alpine was originally planning to place Piastri at Williams in 2023. After Fernando Alonso’s seat became available following the Spaniard’s shock departure to Aston Martin, Alpine quickly announced Piastri would race for the team next season.

However, Piastri had already agreed to cut his Alpine ties and join McLaren, and took to social media to tell the world that he won’t be racing for the Enstone outfit.

Both teams involved in the case will have to respect the decision of the CRB.

Asked by Sky Sports F1 about his current feelings regarding Piastri, Szafnauer made his opinion clear.

"He's a promising young driver,” he said. “He hasn't driven in F1 yet. And my wish for Oscar was that he had a bit more integrity.

“He signed a piece of paper as well back in November and we've done everything on our end of the bargain to prepare him for F1.

“And his end of the bargain was to either drive for us, or take a seat where we would place him for the next three years. And I just wish Oscar would have remembered what he signed in November and what he signed up to."

Asked if the team was already in discussions with drivers other than Piastri, Szafnauer said: "I think the right thing for us to do is to go to the CRB on Monday, see how that pans out, and then start looking at some negotiations in earnest."

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, and Pat Fry

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, and Pat Fry

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

With Daniel Ricciardo now officially available after confirmation of his split with McLaren, the Australian’s name has inevitably been connected with a return to the team.

Ricciardo drove for the then Renault-branded outfit in 2019 and 2020, logging two third places in his second season.

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Szafnauer did not deny that Ricciardo is a candidate for the job.

"The team speak very highly of Daniel and his time here," he said. "We haven't had those strategic discussions yet, but everybody I ask, [in] the engineering team, they really speak highly of his skill as a driver and as a team motivator."

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