Heads roll at Alpine after Oscar Piastri loss to rival team McLaren


Alpine has fired a key legal figure who was largely responsible for the loss of reserve driver Oscar Piastri to rival team McLaren earlier this year.

Associated with Alpine as a junior since 2019, it was assumed that Piastri would be promoted up the grid to replace Fernando Alonso in the French squad next season.

However, in August Piastri sensationally rejected the team’s announcement as Alonso’s successor before signing with McLaren.

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Unbeknownst to Alpine at the time, Piastri had already signed a two-year contract to join McLaren from 2023, having never agreed to a possible race with Alpine after 2022 after repeated mistakes in the contract process. .

According to the decision of the Contract Recognition Board in Oscar Piastri and McLaren v. Alpine, numerous disadvantages in the latter’s name led Piastri to seek a racing seat elsewhere.

Following the mismanagement, Alpine fired its director of legal affairs Benedicte Mercer.

The Contract Recognition Committee found that Mercer was ultimately responsible for not drafting a contract that would have tied the successful junior to a racing seat under Alpine’s “road map.”

As part of the team’s 2023-26 proposal, Piastri would be loaned out to Williams for 2023 and potentially 2024. With the prospect of having to wait until 2025 for a racing seat, Piastri and his manager Mark Webber believed that a role at McLaren was the best way to go.

As circumstances changed, that role quickly turned into full-time coaching alongside Lando Norris as Daniel Ricciardo agreed to an early termination of his contract with the Woking-based side.

All UK-based companies, including Alpine Racing Limited, must file documents with the government agency Companies House in the event of a change of directors.

In documents filed Nov. 8, Alpine terminated Mercer’s employment, although no further details were provided.

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