Formula 1 team Alpine has promoted Australian reserve driver Oscar Piastri to succeed Fernando Alonso – but apparently without his consent.

Piastri will race alongside Frenchman Esteban Ocon “from 2023 onwards”, the Alpine team said in a press release on Tuesday.

Piastri’s voice was missing from the press release, which was obviously for a good reason: on Tuesday evening, the 21-year-old, whose management had probably also negotiated with other teams, spoke out via Twitter. “Alpine F1 published a press release late in the afternoon, without my consent, stating that I will be driving for them next year. This is wrong, I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023,” Piastri said, making his position clear: “I will not drive for Alpine next year.”

“More than capable of taking the step into Formula 1”

Piastri is considered a promising talent. Two years ago, he won the title in the junior Formula 3 class, then became Formula 2 champion in the pre-season. At the beginning of this season, he was hired as a reserve driver by Alpine.

“Oscar is a bright and rare talent,” Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer was quoted as saying in the press release: “We are proud to have nurtured and supported him on the difficult paths of the junior series. Through our collaboration over the last four years, we have seen him develop and mature into a driver who is more than capable of taking the step into Formula One.”

They firmly believe that the Ocon/Piastri duo “will give us the continuity we need to achieve our long-term goal: to fight for victories and championships,” Szafnauer added.

It was only announced on Monday that former world champion Alonso would be moving to rival Aston Martin next year. There, the 41-year-old will replace the German Sebastian Vettel (35), who wants to end his Formula 1 career after this season.