Oscar Piastri cops stunning spray from F1 Alpine boss: 'No excuse'

Alpine boss Laurent Rossi (pictured right) speaking to the media and (pictured left) Oscar Piastri before a race.
Alpine boss Laurent Rossi (pictured right) has taken aim at Oscar Piastri (pictured left) for the way he left the team to join McLaren. (Getty Images)

Alpine boss Laurent Rossi has blasted young Aussie driver Oscar Piastri for his 'behaviour' in changing teams and joining McLaren for the 2023 season.

Piastri caused the stir of the season when he denied Alpine's announcement that he would drive as a lead for the upcoming season.

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McLaren eventually announced the signing of Piastri to replace fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo in a highly controversial decision.

Alpine believed they had a valid contract with Piastri for 2023, but it was eventually determined by the FIA's contract recognition born that he was indeed a free agent, and therefore free to sign with McLaren.

However, the dust still hasn't settled at Alpine with team boss Rossi feeling the pain of the defection.

Rossi spoke to Auto Motor Und Sport and blasted the 19-year-old for his lack of loyalty to the team.

“He would have driven for us after Alonso left. McLaren and us are about the same strength. But we are a factory team. That’s a competitive advantage," Rossi said to the publication.

“He grew up in this team. He knows everyone with us. We’ve shown our commitment to him – shouldn’t he be a little grateful?

“There is no excuse for Oscar’s behaviour. He has chopped off the hand that fed him and played with us because any draft contracts were not submitted on time."

Rossi went on to claim that Piastri didn't want to bide his time at Alpine with plans the team would loan him to Williams for experience.

Oscar Piastri (pictured) arrives at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix.
Oscar Piastri (pictured) signed with McLaren for the 2023 season. (Photo by Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

However, Rossi claimed Piastri was frustrated the team looked at another No.1 driver instead of him.

“He was disappointed that we bet on Alonso and not on him straight away,” Rossi said. “And he didn’t want to drive for Williams.

“We told him he should be happy with what he’s getting. Fernando will definitely be racing at a much higher level than a rookie next year."

Red Bull boss regrets Oscar Piastri miss

Despite claiming McLaren's first win since 2012, Ricciardo's ongoing struggles getting to grips with the car ultimately lead the team to look elsewhere for the next season.

Piastri was their man after the 21-year-old was eventually cleared to join the team after a messy exit from his role as reserve driver with F1 rivals Alpine, who had supported his junior career and hoped to replace the outgoing Fernando Alonso with the Melbourne-born star.

However, Red Bull racing boss Christian Horner has detailed his regret at missing the chance to sign Piastri as he moved up the ranks.

The 2020 Formula Three and 2021 Formula Two champion raced for the Arden team, founded by Horner and his father, in Formula Four and Formula Renault.

Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) looks on before the F1 Grand Prix of Italy.
Oscar Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo (pictured) at McLaren in 2023. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

"There was an opportunity for Red Bull to look at him at the time and we didn't take up that option, which is something that I regret," Horner told Formula One's Beyond the Grid podcast released on Wednesday.

Piastri will have Britain's Lando Norris as his McLaren teammate next year, another driver Horner said he rated very highly.

"The only problem he (Piastri) now has to deal with is (that) the expectation on him will be immense," Horner said.

"He's going to have to get in and deliver against Lando, which is no mean feat.

"But you either sink or swim in this business. He's a very, very capable driver, I'm sure he's going to do very well."

with AAP

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