“Meanwhile, get an experience at Williams”

“Meanwhile, get an experience at Williams”

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi outlined Alpine’s plans before Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri announced their departure from the team. For a long time, for example, they wanted to lose Alonso in the endurance race, while Piastri would get the first experience in Williams.

Alpine offered Alonso a two-year contract extension, Rossi said, with the second year optional based on performance. This allowed the Spaniard to drive for the team until 2024, after which Alpine planned to place him in a separate motorcycle division.

Read also: Szafnauer does not fear the destruction of Alpine’s image after Alonso and Piastri.

At the same time, Piastri would gain experience at Williams for two years, after which he would receive the Alpine seat from 2025. Both sides did not like this: Alonso wanted certainty for a long time and could get it with Aston Martin, while Piastri had no desire to drive car for two years with Williams. So the two drivers decide to leave.

Alonso to Dakar

According to Rossi, Alpine could not give Alonso more safety, because otherwise they would lose Piastri. “We wanted him to stay with us as an endurance and/or Dakar driver,” Rossi explains F1.com. “We talked about him for a long time last year. Why did we only give him two years?”

“We only had a two-year option with Oscar. Fernando wanted to drive for a long time in Formula 1 and we couldn’t achieve that, otherwise we would have lost Oscar. It didn’t make sense for us. More than likely, we also couldn’t fulfill the other conditions that were offered .”

Also read: ‘Strange and utterly disturbing’: Piastri on the breach of trust in Alpine

“So we would like to continue with Fernando,” Rossi continues. “He’s a great champion, he’ll remain a legend of our brand – but it didn’t work out and that’s life. We’ll continue on good terms. He’s an exceptional champion, he’s a gentleman, he continues to do a great job for us despite signing. [voor Aston Martin]. We are sad to part, but we are still family. That’s life. It’s a blow to lose a champion, but it happens. That’s how it is sometimes the season of ignorance.”

Disappointment in Piastric

That Piastri also announced that he would not be riding in Alpine in 2023 angered Rossi. “We didn’t expect that,” admitted the Frenchman. “Honestly, it’s disappointing.”

Rossi insists that his team has complied with all the agreements with Piastri, including testing with last year’s car. In addition, Alpine made every effort for the Australian to get a seat. “We hired someone to find him a seat, we wanted to do it right. At the end of April we got his seat at Williams.

Also read: Alpine resigned to Piastri’s decision, to announce the 2023 series soon

The plan seemed more solid, Rossi says, until Piastri’s management got word to Alpine. “They said they might have a chance at McLaren. That was a bit disappointing. It was unusual because we expected more loyalty, given all the effort we’ve put into it. He didn’t say he was going, he just said he had a chance.”