Alonso, Piatri, Gasly… The boss of Alpine says it all

Looking for a driver for next season, Laurent Rossi confided in the reasons which led Fernando Alonso to leave and gave details on how Oscar Piastri escaped them. As for the future, Pierre Gasly is mentioned but not the only one on the list.

Alpine lives through troubled times. While Fernando Alonso preferred to join Aston Martin and Oscar Piastri refused a seat for next year to sign with McLaren, the French team is uncertain about its short and medium term future. Interviewed on the sidelines of the Italian Grand Prix, Laurent Rossi discussed all current issues concerning his team and in particular the reasons which led Alpine not to grant Fernando Alonso what he wanted, a contract beyond the only season 2023. The boss of the French brand confirms that he had other plans for the Asturian. ” We wanted him to continue with us as an endurance rider or on the Dakar, he confided while the Renault group could launch the Dacia brand in rally-raid in the future. We talked about it a lot last year. “As for the duration of the contract, Laurent Rossi did not want to be torn between Fernando Alonso and Oscar Piastri. “We only had a two-year option with Oscar Piastri. Fernando Alonso wanted to drive longer in F1, something we couldn’t offer him at the risk of losing Oscar Piastri, said the boss of Alpine. It didn’t make sense to us. In addition, it is very likely that we could only line up with what was offered to him. “But, in the end, neither Fernando Alonso nor Oscar Piastri will be in the seat of an Alpine in 2023. The attitude of the Australian was unexpected. ” To be quite frank, it’s disappointing “, even confided Laurent Rossi.

Rossi: “I have the impression that we have kept our commitments”

In the eyes of the boss of the French brand, the commitments to the 2021 Formula 2 champion have been kept, that is to say a place as a reserve driver, a large test program and the commitment to find him a job. bucket seat in 2023. “We gave him full access to the team, to debriefings, to technical meetings and he was by my side most Sundays listening to the race. He was not only a reserve pilot but the most trained rookie ever., says the boss of the tricolor brand. He knew how the team works, how a driver is supposed to behave in a team. I have the impression that we have kept our commitments. We even went beyond that. As for finding him a bucket seat, Alpine reached an agreement with Williams, that’s when everything started to go wrong. “When the opportunity at Williams was going to become concrete, to the point that a molding of the seat was planned, Oscar Piastri’s entourage told us there was a potential chance with McLaren, remembered Laurent Rossi. It was a bit disappointing. It was a little weird for us because we expected a little more loyalty given what we had invested in him. “Believing that Daniel Ricciardo was going to stay at McLaren, the staff of Alpine did not necessarily take the McLaren threat seriously. “Otmar Szafnauer saw it, told him and we made our announcement for 2023 about him. We didn’t know he had already signed, assures Laurent Rossi. He never told us. It was still believed that Williams was a good opportunity for him to learn with less pressure. »

Gasly, “a good candidate” for Rossi

But, admitting that the project proposed by McLaren could be more attractive, the prospect of being a starter at Alpine was in the eyes of the boss of the brand the best possible proposal. “We acted logically, in accordance with our commitment to him, assures Laurent Rossi. I don’t think we could have given any driver more. “But, in this case, the boss of Alpine admits” some errors “because he did not want to lock up his nugget in an overly restrictive contract. “It’s like forgetting because we never imagined that when we give so much to a person, he would not accept what we offered him when we supported him for so many years and he won championships with our support adds Laurent Rossi. As for the future, the boss of Alpine knows perfectly well which driver profile he wishes to associate with Esteban Ocon. ” We need someone who helps with the development of the team, who can help with the development of the car, he assured. We need a sufficiently experienced driver, a driver able to score points from the start and who can take the team with him. “Admitting that Pierre Gasly “is a very good driver” but above all “a good candidate” for a bucket seat at Alpine, Laurent Rossi does not rule out internal promotion with Jack Doohan, current fourth in the Formula 2 championship, won this Saturday by Felipe Drugovich. “He has shown a lot of potential, especially lately,” says the boss of the French brand. He is fast, he enters our plans. One way or another we will try to put him in an F1 at some point. But the Piastri episode leaves traces. ” We will see what the situation will be at the end of September., concludes Laurent Rossi. We will have more clarity on all the options. Until then, I assure you that a decision will be made. Patience is therefore essential.

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