Gasly surprised Piastri turned down Alpine F1 drive for 2023

Pierre Gasly was “quite surprised” to see Oscar Piastri turn down a Formula 1 drive with Alpine for 2023, calling the move “quite bold”.

Pierre Gasly, Scuderia AlphaTauri track walk

Piastri and Alpine are currently embroiled in a dispute over his F1 contract for 2023 that was heard by the Contract Recognition Board earlier this week. Alpine claims it has an agreement in place for Piastri to race next year alongside Esteban Ocon, but Piastri denies he has signed any deal.

No ruling has yet been communicated, but regardless of the outcome, reigning F2 champion Piastri looks set to leave Alpine and join McLaren for 2023, having publicly stated on social media he will not be racing for Alpine next year.

Current AlphaTauri driver Gasly is in prime position to take the seat Piastri turned down, as revealed by Motorsport.com last week, should Alpine and Red Bull agree terms for his exit.

Gasly said he “had an eye” on the driver market madness at the start of the summer break, including Piastri’s decision to turn down Alpine, which he admitted surprised him.

“I thought it was quite a bold move from Oscar to refuse an F1 seat, when you know how difficult it can be to get there and being affiliated with Alpine,” said Gasly.

“I was just quite surprised with his move.”

Oscar Piastri, Reserve Driver, Alpine F1 Team

Oscar Piastri, Reserve Driver, Alpine F1 Team

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Piastri’s public statement claiming it was “wrong” for Alpine to claim he would be racing for the team next year has been questioned, particularly given the level of support it has shown through his junior career.

Alpine F1 boss Otmar Szafnauer said he wished Piastri had shown “a bit more integrity” in the matter, while Mercedes chief Toto Wolff felt people “should be wary on Twitter what they said about multinational organisations.”

Gasly’s racing career has been supported by Red Bull, which helped him up the junior ladder before making his F1 debut in 2017. Gasly has since gone on to become a grand prix winner, scoring only the second victory in AlphaTauri’s history at Monza in 2020.

Asked by Motorsport.com about the importance of respect and loyalty in these cases, Gasly felt it was important to be grateful for the opportunities that you get in life.

“At the end of the day, that’s also how it works, I think I’m in a good position to talk about that,” Gasly said.

“I’ve been with for nine years Red Bull. There were a lot of highs. The only low was the 2019 with them. But nevertheless, you’re always grateful, whatever happens, for the opportunities.

“I would never be in Formula 1 if they would not help me and put me in the junior programme at the end of 2013.

“These things, you should remember who helped you first, and always be kind of appreciative and grateful for these things.”

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