Alpine has 'legal contract' with Piastri for 2023 amid McLaren rumour

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Alpine claims to have a "legal contract" with Oscar Piastri for 2023, amid rumours linking him to McLaren.

The Enstone-based team is in need of a second driver for next season after Fernando Alonso shocked them with his move to Aston Martin, replacing Sebastian Vettel, on Monday.

As the driver Alpine has been prepping for a seat in Formula 1, Piastri was seen as the natural choice to take over from the Spaniard.

But that has now been confused by a claim that the Australian's manager, former driver Mark Webber, has an arrangement with McLaren for next season that could see Oscar replace Daniel Ricciardo in 2023.

“I’m not privy to whatever pre-arrangements he has with McLaren, if any at all,” Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer told

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“I hear the same rumours that you do in the pitlane. What I do know is that he has contractual obligations to us, and we do to him, and we’ve been honouring those obligations all year."

Those obligations Alpine has towards Piastri have included an extensive testing program of 5000km in last year's car, FP1 sessions and simulator work, something Szafnauer said "isn't insignificant".

And the American chief hopes the driver will show the same commitment to the team.

“We do have a legal contract with him into the future for 2023, and if an option is taken up, for 2024. So I don’t know what he’s done with McLaren. Like I said, I’m not privy to that," he continued.

“Oscar and his camp are considering their options, whatever that means.

“There shouldn’t be any complications if everyone is true to the agreements that they signed back only a few months ago, we should be able to move forward with the agreements that we have in place.”

Szafnauer FrenchGP

The irony is this comes at the same time McLaren also faces a contractual spat with their IndyCar team, after announcing Alex Palou for next year despite the Spaniard apparently having a contract option at his current team Ganassi.

But while a court case to settle the matter is not out of the equation, Alpine didn't rule out the "good option" of re-signing Ricciardo if Piastri went to McLaren next season either.

Let the fireworks begin!