Reigning F2 champion Piastri is at the centre of a contractual tug-of-war between his current Alpine team and McLaren, with the long-running dispute set to finally be settled on Monday by F1’s CRB. 

Speaking on Saturday at the Belgian Grand Prix, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer expressed confidence that the CRB will take his team’s side. 

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“What we’re doing to retain him is going to the CRB on Monday,” Szafnauer explained. 

“We’ll have the CRB decide which contract Oscar signed takes precedent and once we have that ruling then we’ll look forward and see where we go.”

Asked how confident he is about the CRB ruling in Alpine’s favour, Szafnauer replied: "Very. I’ve seen both sides of the argument and we’re confident that Oscar signed with us back in November. 

“There are certain things that need to be in the contract and I’m confident that they are in there.”

Responding to reports that Piastri’s contract with Alpine had a July 31 deadline, Szafnauer said: “Well I rarely like to talk about details of driver contracts. 

“But two things I can say; one, there was no by the 31st of July you have to do some things or therefore you can get out, there was none of that. 

“That 31st of July deadline that I read all the time is fictitious, it’s not in the contract he signed. 

“The term of the contract is through 2024 with an option in 2023. There’s a lot more in it, but like I said, I don’t really like to talk about the specifics.”

Alpine don’t feel let down by Alonso

The contractual dispute was triggered by Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin, which was announced on the Monday morning after the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

Alpine had been negotiating a new contract with Alonso and were hopeful he would sign an extension. But when Sebastian Vettel announced he will retire from F1 at the end of the year, Alonso negotiated a swift deal with Aston Martin.

Asked if Alpine feel let down by Alonso, Szafnauer said: “No, not at all. He’s a free agent, there’s no obligation on Fernando’s part to do anything else than to do what is right for himself. 

“A deal has to be good for both sides and if he found a deal that was better for him, he should pursue it. 

“We had negotiations with him in good faith and we thought we were close to having a deal on both sides but no, he was a free agent and free to do what he did.”