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Australian Piastri denies he will replace Alonso at Alpine in 2023

Oscar Piastri (left) will replace Fernando Alonso (right) in the Alpine line up next season. Photo: Franck Fife / AFP

Oscar Piastri said Tuesday he will not drive for Alpine in Formula One next year, barely an hour after the team announced that he would replace departing two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.

Alpine released a statement saying that the 21-year-old would be promoted from his role as reserve driver “in line with the commitments made by the team to the young Australian”.

But Piastri then said on social media that he “had not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023”.

“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,” wrote Piastri, saying the announcement was “wrong”.

“I will not be driving for Alpine next year,” he added.

Contacted by AFP, Alpine refused to comment on Piastri’s denial, sticking with the team’s initial statement.

Melbourne-born Piastri joined the Alpine academy after winning the Formula Renault Eurocup title in 2019. He took the Formula 3 crown the following year before claiming the Formula 2 championship in 2021.

Alpine had planned for Piastri to pair up with French driver Esteban Ocon at the top level next year after Alonso makes the switch to Aston Martin.

Piastri has reportedly held talks with McLaren in recent weeks.

Alonso, 41, revealed Monday he would be joining Aston Martin on a multi-year contract from 2023, taking the seat vacated by the imminent retirement of Sebastian Vettel.

The Spaniard, who won his world titles with Renault in 2005 and 2006, returned to Formula One last season with Alpine after a two-year hiatus.

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