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Alpine F1 Team

Szafnauer reveals what he learned from Piastri saga

The dispute between Alpine and McLaren over Oscar Piastri's services for 2023 ended with the Contract Recognition Board ruling in McLaren's favour. Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has been reflecting on what he learned about paddock politics from the case.

Szafnauer Alpine
To news overview © Alpine

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer has revealed the lesson he learned from the Oscar Piastri contract saga.

The row erupted when Alpine named Piastri – who had been serving as their reserve driver – as part of their 2023 line-up following Fernando Alonso's exit for Aston Martin, only for Piastri to later deny that he had signed for Alpine.

Piastri had agreed a deal to race at McLaren as Daniel Ricciardo's replacement and the case was taken to the Contract Recognition Board, with the verdict going in McLaren's favour.

Szafnauer was critical of Piastri in the wake of the dispute, having stated that he "expected more loyalty" from the 21-year-old, and he has since reflected on how he now views paddock politics after the situation.

Szafnauer reflects on F1 politics after Piastri case

When asked about the lessons he had learned on paddock politics and driver loyalty following the Piastri case, Szafnauer told media, including RacingNews365.com: "I think species that collaborate, survive. Species that are selfish, perish.

"That's true in history, and I think that might apply to Formula 1, too, but let's see what the future brings."

Piastri had been a member of the Alpine Academy, and Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi previously raised questions about the future of the programme in light of the saga.

However, Szafnauer has reaffirmed the team's commitment to the academy.

"At the time, you look at everything," Szafnauer said.

"I think Laurent said that we've got to reconsider that if we spend this money and get drivers to a certain spot and they want to go elsewhere, should we really be doing this?

"That was something we looked at, but we definitely continue to be committed to the young driver programme and to the Alpine Academy."

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