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Pardon My French

Pardon My French


Under the management of new team principal Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine F1 Team goes into 2022 retaining their drivers Fernando Alonso, a veteran of Team Enstone and two-time Champion, and Esteban Ocon, the driver who took Alpine to their first victory since 2014, with a new reserve driver in Australian driver and 2021 Formula Two champion Oscar Piastri. Alpine scores consistent points scores in Miami, Baku, and Austria.
By the French round - the home race of Alpine - McLaren and Alpine are tied for sixth in the Constructors' Championship. Early into the race, Alonso edges past Lando Norris for fourth, with Ocon behind him. However, Ocon inadvertantly takes Yuki Tsunoda out of the race, giving him a five-second penalty. Pitting soon after drops him down out of the points, with Alonso now sixth and a second behind Norris. Alonso holds the McLarens up to buy enough time for Ocon to pass them. Alonso finishes sixth and Ocon eighth in their home race.
Before Hungary, it is revealed that four-time Champion Sebastian Vettel will retire from Formula One, sending the paddock and media into a frenzy with the prospect of a ‘silly season’ on the horizon for Aston Martin; Szafnauer is adamant that Alonso is staying with Alpine for 2023. Hungary is the make-or-break round for Alpine - both drivers need to score higher points than McLaren to achieve fourth in the Constructors' Championship. Ricciardo and Lance Stroll both overtake the Alpines, but Ricciardo punts Stroll off the track, giving him a five-second penalty. Alonso and Ocon barely hold on to the points, and Ricciardo finishes fifteenth after his penalty, allowing Alpine to secure fourth place. The team and their title sponsors BWT celebrate at a sponsor dinner. The next day, Alonso reveals he had received a call from Aston Martin team owner Lawrence Stroll to replace the outgoing Vettel, moving him out of Team Enstone. Left with no other option, Alpine announce Piastri for the 2023 season, and McLaren are looking to replace Ricciardo with Piastri, who they have had eyes on. To make matters worse for Alpine, Piastri announces on Twitter that he will not be driving for the team, considering he had not signed such a contract with them.