Furious Alpine F1 boss airs wild conspiracy theory involving Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso as he plans to take contract fiasco with Aussie young gun Oscar Piastri to the high court
- Alpine F1 boss Otmar Szafnauer believes rivals are sharing information privately
- Comes as future of Aussie young gun Oscar Piastri, 21, is a major talking point
- Piastri is a rising star with Alpine, speculation mounting he may join McLaren
- If Melbourne driver defects, Szafnauer has pledged to take him to the High Court
Irate Alpine F1 boss Otmar Szafnauer has aired a left-field conspiracy theory involving Australian driver turned manager Mark Webber as the industry veteran prepares to take Aussie young gun Oscar Piastri to the high court.
Szafnauer declared he ‘would not be surprised’ if Webber – who manages Piastri – is colluding with departing Alpine driver Fernando Alonso and his manager Flavio Briatore to get Piastri out of his deal with the French team and into a job with McLaren.
Piastri, currently a reserve driver for Alpine, is tipped to jump ship to the British team to replace his countryman Daniel Ricciardo.
While the move is yet to be confirmed, Szafnauer, 57, is said to be seething at the possible move.
The saga began when two-time world champion Fernando Alonso stunned many in F1 circles by announcing he will drive for Aston Martin next season.
Alpine F1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer is prepared to take Aussie young gun Oscar Piastri to the High Court if he joins a grid rival
Rumours are rife in F1 circles Melbourne born Piastri wants out of his Alpine deal – where he is a reserve driver – to join McLaren next season
It left rising star Piastri poised to replace him at Alpine – only for the youngster to sensationally declare on social media he will ‘not be driving for Alpine next year’.
It was then reported that Piastri will depart Alpine and represent McLaren, with the British team believed to be happy to pay out Ricciardo’s seat, for a reported $21million.
The stumbling block appears to be if Piastri has a valid contract at Alpine.
French publication Auto Hebdo reported the F1’s Contract Recognition Board found both Piastri’s Alpine and McLaren contracts are valid.
If Piastri leaves Alpine, they will file a civil lawsuit against the emerging talent.
‘Going to the High Court is over 90 per cent certain that’s what we’ll do,’ Szafnauer told Reuters.
Szafnauer declared he wouldn’t be shocked if Piastri’s manager Mark Webber (pictured) is encouraging his client to leave Alpine and join McLaren
‘If the CRB (Contract Recognition Board) says ‘Your licence is only valid at Alpine’, and then he (Piastri) says ‘That’s great, but I’m never driving for them, I’ll just sit out a year’, then you’ve got to go to the High Court for compensation.’
Szafnauer added he believes Piastri’s manager Mark Webber could be working out a deal behind closed doors with Alonso and his manager, Flavio Briatore.
Alonso and Webber are friends from their days as F1 rivals.
‘This is Formula 1 and maybe in a couple of years someone says that they have evidence of shared information, I would not be surprised,’ Szafnauer said.
‘I always tell everyone that in Formula 1 you have to act as if everyone knows everything. I’ve been doing this for 25 years, there are no secrets.’
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