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Szafnauer: No issue in bringing Ricciardo back again to Alpine F1 team

Alpine still hopes younger Australian will slot in to the seat vacated by Fernando Alonso, and believes it includes a valid contract compared to that effect.

The team announced on Tuesday afternoon that Piastri will drive in 2023, but shortly afterwards the Australian took to social media marketing to deny that has been the case.

Piastri is understood to possess agreed a deal to visit McLaren at the same time when it appeared as if his only choice to race in 2023 was if Alpine loaned him to Williams, an arrangement he and manager Mark Webber didn’t desire to pursue.

The sudden option of the Alonso seat has complicated matters for several parties.

Should Piastri win any upcoming legal tussle and find yourself likely to McLaren then Alpine will need to look outside to displace him.

Szafnauer noted that following Mondays announcement of Alonsos proceed to Aston Martin he previously already fielded a lot of calls from other potential drivers.

If Ricciardo is ousted from McLaren to create method for Piastri, as a multiple race winner he’ll potentially be probably the most attractive options available, despite his recent patchy form for the Woking outfit.

The thing is that having been hired by the then Renault organisation at great expense to lead the team in to the future Ricciardo decided early in his second season in 2020 to jump ship and join McLaren for 2021.

That decision didnt decrease well in the Renault camp, even though the team management has changed with Cyril Abiteboul gone with Szafnauer and Laurent Rossi now at the helm it might still be a concern.

Indeed, its understood that Renault Group boss Luca de Meo was especially annoyed by Ricciardos departure.

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

But when asked about Ricciardo by, Szafnauer compared the problem with Alonsos capability to go back to teams, and insisted the priority was to get the right drivers to greatly help the team using its 100-race plan to getting to leading of the field.

After all, in the event that you look at Fernando, for instance, he comes and goes, and I believe that occurs to other drivers too, he said.

And I don’t believe that’s a concern at all. I believe what we have to concentrate on is, like I say, the plans that people have for another 89-88 races.

We have to make certain that we complement that plan with the very best driver that people can, and there are a few options on the market for all of us. And we put the very best driver in close to Esteban [Ocon], in order that we can progress towards what we have been planning.

Speaking before Piastris social media marketing statement, Szafnauer also insisted the team can work with the youngster should he ultimately be confirmed in the seat, regardless of the potential damage done to the partnership by his try to proceed to McLaren.

He compared the problem compared to that at BAR when Jenson Button were likely to Williams for 2005, but ultimately remained with the Brackley team carrying out a legal battle.

I am around long enough where I’ve seen this sort of thing actually play out and happen, he said.

When Jenson signed with Williams and finished up at British American Racing Honda, in the event that you reacall those days, there is zero issue. After all, I understand Oscar differs from Jenson. Hopefully we need not decrease that route, anyway.

However your presumption was, oh, a driver really wants to go someplace else. So hopefully that isn’t the case. But I’ve seen it in which a driver actually signed with another team incorrectly, so had to operate a vehicle for the team he initially signed with.

Also it was zero issue. Jenson at that time did a stellar job at BAR, rather than finished up at Williams.

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Photo by: Sutton Images

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