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Is Briatore the linchpin in 'conspiracy' Piastri, Webber and Alonso?

Is Briatore the linchpin in 'conspiracy' Piastri, Webber and Alonso?

11 August - 18:04
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GPblog.com

The whole soap opera that started in Formula 1 because of Oscar Piastri may have been created by Flavio Briatore. That is the opinion of Christian Danner at Motorsport-Magazin.com. The flamboyant Briatore is known to be very cunning and may have played a role in Fernando Alonso's sudden move to Aston Martin and Piastri's subsequent announcement to Alpine that he was leaving.

The plan of Briatore and Webber

In terms of timing, it is all a coincidence, perhaps too much of a coincidence. A conspiracy? Danner is pretty sure. Sebastian Vettel announced his departure from Aston Martin on Thursday 29 July. Fernando Alonso appeared to be contracted as his replacement on Monday 1 August. Briatore, Alonso's manager, was therefore aware of Vettel's impending retirement for much longer.

Mark Webber is Piastri's manager and the former Formula 1 driver himself was also guided by Briatore. The two men still get along well and may have played under the same hat. According to the aforementioned German medium, there was a letter of intent between Alpine and Piastri for 2023 with a 30-day deadline. The deadline was not met, possibly because Alonso announced his departure from Alpine so late.

Briatore may have announced Alonso's commitment to Aston Martin so late that Alpine did not have time to react to the surprise. Briatore did his good friend Webber and Piastri (of whom the Italian is a big fan) a big favour. Piastri can now, at least he is convinced of it, make the switch to McLaren.

Piastri's future plan

"Under this scenario there is clearly a Briatore signature. This is a classic Flavio", says Danner, who thinks that Briatore's plans go even further than this. Piastri is said to be coveting a two-year contract at McLaren. "Then he would drive for McLaren for the next two seasons and then he is free for the big deal. That certainly has Briatore's signature. It could all go wrong, of course, but if it works out, then he [Briatore] has done everything right."

Drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez may not be under contract to a top team in 2025, or they may have hung up their helmet on the willows. Piastri could then jump into that gap.

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