F1 silly season begins feat. Vettel, Alonso and Oscar Piastri

Things are about to get super spicy!

Formula 1 went into its annual summer break following the Hungarian Grand Prix which reigning champion Max Verstappen won from 10th place. However, F1 fans haven’t quite gone to rest because the silly season has begun. For those of you who don’t know, silly season is when teams announce their driver lineups for next season and lots of shuffling takes place and sometimes, contracts count for nothing.

This year’s silly season began when 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement from the sport on July 28. Sebastian became the youngest world champion ever in 2010 and won all of his four titles at F1, after moving on to Ferrari and then to Aston Martin.

Vettel has third-most race victories (53), the third most podium finishes (122) and the fourth most pole positions (57) to his name. He’s one of the GOATs of the sport.

Now moving on to the reaction from the announcement. 2-time world champion Fernando Alonso shocked the F1 world when he revealed that he will be driving for Aston in 2023. Aston said that Alonso has signed a “multi-year” deal with them. After staying committed to his current team, Alpine Renault, at the end of last season and saying that they would follow his ‘El Plan’, this move came as a surprise for everyone. Even Alpine team boss Otmar said that Alonso hinted he’d be re-signing for the team.

Otmar Szafnauer told the media: “We were very, very close. We had what I thought was a fair contract on both sides, and Fernando did too. I did ask the question [to Alonso before leaving Hungary] and was told ‘no, no, no, I haven’t signed anything’.”

“The first confirmation I had was the Aston Martin press release,” he said.

And if that wasn’t bad for Otmar and Alpine then things went downhill last night. After Alonso’s move to Aston, Alpine announced that Australian sensation and Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri would be making the move to F1 in 2023 and drive alongside Esteban Ocon in 2023. It was all looking good for the teenager until he tweeted and posted on Instagram the following statement.

“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year,” the 21 year old wrote.

“This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023.

“I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”

So where does this leave Alpine? Who will they be signing now? And the biggest question is: why is Piastri, who was eager to make the step up to F1, now declining Alpine’s offer despite being their reserve driver? Many are speculating that he could go to McLaren and replace fellow countrymen Daniel Ricciardo, who has had a turbulent 2022 season.

Get the popcorn out, because things are gonna get entertaining!

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