Alpine has been hit with another twist in its driver situation for 2023 after Oscar Piastri denied he will drive for the team in F1 next year.
The reigning F2 champion has been the reserve driver at the Enstone and Viry-based outfit this season, watching regular drivers Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso from the sidelines.
But the Spaniard's shock move to Aston Martin set F1's silly season alight after the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer suggesting the first he had heard about the switch was in the press release.
With Alonso seemingly certain to stay at Alpine before Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement last week, rumours had circulated that Piastri was on the radar to replace Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren or Nicholas Latifi at Williams.
After hinting at a potential hurdle to Piastri's promotion on Tuesday [Aug 2] morning, given McLaren's interest, Alpine confirmed the Australian's move to partner Ocon from next season later in the day.
Intriguingly, however, there was no quote from Piastri in the press release from the French manufacturer and in a separate social media post, he has sensationally denied signing a contract to make the step into F1.
Piastri's statement read: "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.
"This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year."
The fallout mirrors a similar situation between McLaren's IndyCar programme and Chip Ganassi Racing.
The latter confirmed a contract extension for reigning champion Alex Palou, only for the Spaniard to deny the extension only a few hours later.
McLaren then announced Palou's signature, with the situation being taken to court by CGR.