Every Formula 1 season sees a bit of a shakeup in the driver lineups around the various teams, but there have been few incidents of personnel changes as bizarre as the one involving Oscar Piastri in recent times.
The Australian has been part of Alpine for a number of years, although he had yet to take one of the two seats available in the team.
When Sebastien Vettel announced his upcoming retirement, the team revealed that Piastri would take his place for the 2023 season. However, the driver himself had other ideas.
He took to social media to reveals that he would not be racing for Alpine next year.
I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) August 2, 2022
At that stage, some suggested he could be on his way to McLaren to replace compatriot Daniel Ricciardo. Despite this, both the driver and team said they were committed to fulfilling the final year of their contract together.
Of course, it would later emerge that McLaren were going to released Ricciardo. Piastri will be driving for the team next year after his contract situation with Alpine was resolved.
Oscar Piastri opens up on 'bizarre' Alpine dispute
Oscar Piastri has now opened up on how the misunderstanding with Alpine occurred.
Speaking to the F1 website, he said he felt he had little other option but to pursue other options prior to the team announcing that they would give him a seat for 2023, something he was not consulted about.
To be completely honest, there was a lack of clarity around my future at the team at Alpine.
They publicly stated they wished to continue with Fernando [Alonso] for at least one or two more years. I respect that.
But after spending the year out, my hopes were firmly set on an Alpine seat and the lack of clarity and, similarly to Fernando, a bit of a strange feeling in negotiations, it didn't feel like it was the right decision for me [to stay around].
The lack of clarity around my future, and ultimately a breakdown in trust, I felt the very attractive offer of McLaren and the positive dealings with them thus far were all reasons why I felt McLaren was where I was best off for the future...
It was done publicly in front of some members of the team who were oblivious to the situation and I didn't want to cause a scene in front of them. Once we were in private, I told Otmar what our position was and what he had been told multiple times before that. It was very surprising to me to make that announcement.
It was the biggest moment of my career and probably my life up to now.
To have that falsely announced was something my management and I felt we had to correct and there was also potential legal implications if we didn't deny the announcement.
Oscar Piastri will now be driving for McLaren next year, hoping to arrest what has been a fairly dramatic decline for the team over the last couple of seasons.
As for Daniel Ricciardo, it remains to be seen if he can secure a seat for 2023.