Australian motorsport young gun Oscar Piastri is currently involved in a dramatic Formula 1 contract stoush.
On Wednesday Alpine announced Piastri as their driver to partner Esteban Ocon in 2023.
However, the 21-year-old publicly responded a few hours later, denying he had officially signed a contract.
He also shared that he would not be driving for the Enstone-based team next year, suggesting that a deal elsewhere on the grid is on the cards.
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.— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) August 2, 2022
A move to McLaren - where he would replace fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo - has been rumoured as a potential option.
Oscar Piastri is in a strong position to secure a Formula 1 seat with Alpine in 2023 following the surprise departure of Fernando Alonso.
41-year-old Alonso will head to Aston Martin next season on a multi-year deal, replacing four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Aston Martin - who returned to F1 in 2021 after a 61-year absence - have described the move as "a clear statement of intent".
The exit of the experienced Spaniard now opens the door for Melbourne-born racing prodigy Piastri to partner alongside Frenchman Esteban Ocon at Alpine in 2023.
As Alpine's current reserve driver, Piastri - who is managed by former Australian F1 driver Mark Webber - is already integrated with the Renault-owned F1 team and is the most likely candidate to fill the vacant seat.
A loan to Williams has previously been discussed, but Alonso's departure has Piastri in prime position to secure one of the 20 coveted spots on the grid.
If he does win the seat for next year, he will become the first Australian driver to make a debut in F1 since current McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo featured in the 2011 British Grand Prix.
Alpine is yet to confirm its full driver line-up for the upcoming season.
We look forward to finishing the remainder of the 2022 season with Fernando in blue, and we’ll keep pushing to the maximum until the final lap in November.— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) August 1, 2022
The team will announce its driver line-up for the 2023 Formula 1 season in due course.
21-year-old Piastri was arguably unlucky to not claim a spot on the 2022 grid, having won the Formula 2 drivers championship the previous year.
He also won Formula 3 in 2020 following success in Formula Renault Eurocup.
Zhou Guanyu finished third in the same F2 season as Piastri but was able to secure a seat with Alfa Romeo as a driver for the current F1 season.
Whilst yet to feature in a race, Piastri has test-driven the Alpine F1 car on numerous occasions.