Gasly signing means Alpine got 'better' result from Piastri saga - Szafnauer

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Signing Pierre Gasly for 2023 means Alpine got the "better" outcome from its saga with Oscar Piastri, team boss Otmar Szafnauer claims.

As Formula 1 went off on its summer break last year, the driver market exploded with the news that Fernando Alonso would be replacing Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin for this season.

Alpine followed up by announcing Piastri as the Spaniard's replacement, only for the Australian to deny it via Twitter, as he had agreed on a move to McLaren in place of Daniel Ricciardo.

Piastri Ricciardo

Ultimately, the Contract Recognition Board sided with Piastri, who will race at the Woking-based team in 2023, while Alpine secured Gasly from AlphaTauri.

"Thinking that Oscar had a contract with us, and the CRB saying something different was a process we had to go through," Szafnauer admitted.

"You know, that's life, that's why you have bodies that judge in if two sides think differently.

"Look, let's see how we do next year. I'm happy that our driving pairing with Esteban [Ocon] and Pierre is better than it would have been if we had won that case.

"[Gasly is] more experienced, still young and, time will tell, but I think faster."

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A prominent question asked about Alpine's new line-up though is whether Ocon and Gasly can work together as their personal relationship had deteriorated after being childhood friends in France.

"Hopefully, what they say is true, and I believe it is," Szafnauer responded. "I've talked to both of them, and they both say the same thing.

"I've talked to Esteban more than Pierre, as I know [him] more, and I asked him: 'Do you think this is an opportunity to rekindle your friendship?'

"He said: 'Yeah, never say never, let's see what happens', so he is definitely open to it.

"I didn't ask that same question to Pierre, but once they are friends again, or are working together professionally, that fit becomes no different than any other two drivers."