Nico Rosberg blasts Alpine for letting Oscar Piastri slip through the net

Former F1 champion Nico Rosberg has blasted Alpine for their handling of the Oscar Piastri saga which resulted in the Australian joining McLaren.

Following Fernando Alonso’s decision to ditch Alpine for Aston Martin, the Renault-backed squad announced they would be promoting reserve driver Piastri, only for the 21-year-old to declare he would be racing elsewhere in 2023.

It has since emerged that Piastri signed a driver contract with McLaren back on July 4. With Alpine claiming to have a deal in place too, the matter went to the sport’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB), which emphatically ruled in McLaren’s favour at the start of the Dutch Grand Prix weekend.

READ MORE: Oscar Piastri says 'trust' issues with Alpine led to dramatic McLaren move

The CRB declared Alpine did not have a binding contract with Piastri in place, which represents a major embarrassment for the Enstone-based squad. And Rosberg is struggling to comprehend how a team of such standing allowed one of their prize assets to slip through their fingers.

“Alpine really did such a bad job there,” the 2016 world champion told Sky Sports F1.

“It’s really unbelievable for such a high profile team to manage it so badly, to invest so many millions into Piastri’s career [as a junior driver] just to have him not locked up in a contract and to be able to go away and accept an offer from McLaren.

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“For Piastri’s management, Mark Webber, good job. They’ve got him a fantastic race seat at McLaren. That’s huge, amazing.”

However, Rosberg issued a word of warning to Piastri, who will be up against one of the fastest drivers on the grid in Lando Norris.

He added: “Nevertheless, it is going to be tough for Oscar to do well there because Lando is world-class, he’s World Championship material. It’s not going to be easy for him to come in straight away and do better than Daniel Ricciardo at the moment.”

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