Fernando Alonso announced at the start of the summer break that he was parting ways with Alpine to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin for the 2023 F1 season and beyond.
The two-time world champion made it clear that he was looking for a long-term contract. The French outfit, however, was simply unable to offer that to avoid the risk of losing their Formula 2 champion reserve driver Oscar Piastri.
Ahead of qualifying at the 2022 F1 Italian Grand Prix last weekend, Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi explained why the team decided to offer Fernando Alonso a two-year contract, despite his desire for greater commitment. He said:
Things backfired for Alpine after Oscar Piastri denied having signed a contract with the team, who announced earlier that the Australian would be taking Alonoso’s seat next season. Earlier this month, Piastri announced instead that he will be making his F1 debut in 2023 with McLaren.
Laurent Rossi has been particularly impressed by Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer’s work in his first season with the team, emphasizing that he fully ‘trusts’ the American with the outfit.
As reported by The Race, Rossi described Szafnauer as the hire he is “most proud of,” saying:
Alpine currently stand fourth in the constructors’ standings with 125 points to their name.
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