Alpine had a plan for the future of F1, but the departure of Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin and Piastri to McLaren has left the French team somewhat lost and now it has to get back on its feet. The Spanish driver is leaving Aston Martin, where he hopes to have fewer problems than at Alpine or the ones he had at McLaren. Meanwhile, team boss Laurent Rossi has given his point of view in an interview with Motorsport-total. “I think the whole picture has never been well described. Through the Academy, we had a reserve option on Oscar, which we pulled on November 15 of last year. We signed an agreement that basically said that we would sign him as a reserve driver and that we would take full advantage of his training from the years of youth that helped him win the Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles. And then we found him a normal steering wheel for 23 and 24. And that’s exactly what we did. We have done our part. A day later he was publicly announced as a reserve driver”, he recounted. “We pay him to be a backup driver, which is also proof of our commitment. We have designed a 5,000 kilometer driving program for him. Something like that is pretty rare and has never happened, with the exception of Lance Stroll, who I think he did 3,000. 5,000 is a lot. ANDhe fact is that he started the driving program in February, together with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon. So with the Formula 1 drivers, it’s a serious program. We take it seriously. He is learning both from the Formula 1 drivers and from driving the car itself,” he continued.

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Even Fernando Alonso’s future was conditioned by Piastri’s “And that’s why we also said at the same time that we would keep Fernando for two more years. We couldn’t offer more than that because then we would have lost Oscar. So, at a given moment, we decided that Óscar is the future and Fernando is the present. It was a good opportunity and that was our way of solving it: Oscar two years at Williams, Fernando two years with us, and then Fernando could do something else”, he continues revealing.

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But Alonso left. “Now I speak briefly about Fernando because he is quite simple. He wanted more than two years. I don’t think he was a complete knockout, but that’s what he wanted. But we couldn’t offer him that. I think we still had a deal and I’d like to believe he got an offer we couldn’t match.” assures the boss of Alpine, where Alonso has lived good times and others that have not been good at all.

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And this is the wish for next year: “And so Formula 1 has its Silly Season (its silly season), and I hope that in sporting terms its change has also been “silly” because then we would still be ahead of Aston”, he says with excessive sincerity.

He speaks fondly of Alonso, but without nostalgia. “But I can’t condemn him for that, if he had accepted a better offer, if there was one. Fernando is a great champion, a legend of our sport and a legend of our brand. He continues to deliver, he is a great professional, and from that point of view we are not angry. This is life. We keep going. But Fernando’s chapter is closed.”

On the other hand, Piastri does hurt him: “As far as Oscar is concerned, he is very disappointing. Because, as I said, we were very committed and we were very loyal. We have invested a lot. So really a lot. Yes, we made some technical mistakes legally that left the door open. But we never thought – and therefore overlooked it – that we had to worry about that.”

They never thought to go faster with Piastre because they trusted Alonso: “He’s performing brilliantly, so it’s hard to imagine that Oscar, as talented as he may be, can perform as well right away. I doubt it, to be honest. But then again, he may surprise everyone. But we’ll see about that. And it is also that Fernando is not just any pilot. He is one of our legends, he even he is the most legendary Renault/Alpine driver, he won two titles with us. That is our claim to fame. So it was hard for us not to stay with him.”