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Heads roll at Alpine after Piastri fiasco

Alpine have terminated the employment of a key figure behind the loss of Oscar Piastri to McLaren.

The Alpine Formula 1 team have terminated the employment of a key legal figure who was closely involved in the loss of Oscar Piastri to McLaren for 2023. After Fernando Alonso jumped ship to Aston Martin for next season in August to replace Sebastian Vettel, the team hoped to replace him with junior and reserve driver Piastri. However, he publicly rejected this offer, stating that he "would not be driving" for the Enstone-squad alongside Esteban Ocon. By this stage in early August, Piastri had already signed a deal to join McLaren having never put pen to paper on a potential race drive with Alpine after repeated failings in the contract process, with the Contract Recognition Board's ruling exclusively revealed by RacingNews365.com. Alpine have now responded by relieving their director of legal affairs Benedicte Mercer of her responsibilities.

Mercer out at Alpine

All companies based in the UK - such as Alpine Racing Limited - must file documents with Companies House when there is a change in directors, such as one leaving. In documents filed on November 8th, Alpine terminated Mercer's employment, although no reason was provided on the official document - which can be seen below. In the loss of Piastri, Mercer was unable to draw up a contract to tie him down to a race seat with Alpine's "road map" of sending him out on loan to Williams for 2023 and potentially 2024 proving unpalatable to him and manager Mark Webber. In a worst-case scenario, Piastri could have not driven for Alpine in F1 until 2025, prompting him to believe that a role at McLaren was the best option. This role morphed into a full race seat alongside Lando Norris, once Daniel Ricciardo agreed to an early termination of his contract following poor performances.

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