The Alpine team principal has reopened the old controversy that engulfed last season as F1 gears up for the 2023 campaign, where Piastri will debut as a rookie driver.

But he is included in the F1 2023 driver line-up for McLaren, after a messy contractual dispute that initially saw Piastri announced as a new Alpine driver, before he denied the team’s claim.

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The F1 Contract Recognition Board ruled against Alpine, and in favour of McLaren, allowing Piastri to make his preferred move.

“Species that cooperate survive. Species that are selfish become extinct,” Szafnauer said.

“In the future, we will treasure these lessons and make sure that we eliminate the loopholes that allowed Oscar to get out of the contract we thought we had with him.

“What happened in the summer was not what we had planned in December 2021. We can say that we should have done things differently so that the plan to promote Oscar would actually have been realised.”

Sebastian Vettel’s shock retirement caused Fernando Alonso to instantly exit Alpine and join Aston Martin.

That is when Alpine announced Piastri as their new driver - only to be thwarted.

Alpine will press ahead with the all-French combo of Pierre Gasly, a new recruit from AlphaTauri, and Esteban Ocon - the long-time friends whose relationship has been up-and-down over the years.