Australian Oscar Piastri has refuted an announcement from Alpine that he will race for them in Formula 1® next season.
The stunning move came on Tuesday as Alpine reserve driver Piastri shot down the team's assertion he would be taking the seat of Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso.
Piastri, last year's Formula 2® champion, has been linked with Williams and McLaren recently, but Alpine has been determined to keep him.
However, the 21-year-old said in a statement posted on Twitter: "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."
Team principal Otmar Szafnauer has claimed Piastri does have "a legal contract" for next year with the Renault-owned marque, seemingly putting him in direct conflict with the young driver.
The disagreement will need to be resolved, with Szafnauer having told motorsport.com "I'm not privy to whatever pre-arrangements he has with McLaren, if any at all."
He added: "Oscar and his camp are considering their options, whatever that means."
This situation has been brought into the spotlight amid Alpine's need to find a replacement for Alonso, who has agreed to succeed retiring former four-time champion Sebastian Vettel with Aston Martin.
The drama comes as Formula 1® enters its short mid-season break.
German great Vettel will retire from Formula 1® at the end of the season, with Szafnauer indicating he was expecting Alonso to commit to a new Alpine contract until news came through of Aston Martin's move for the Spanish veteran, who won the 2005 and 2006 world titles.
In Alpine's now-contradicted statement about the appointment of Piastri, Szafnauer described the youngster as "a bright and rare talent".
He added: "Through our collaboration over the past four years, we have seen him develop and mature into a driver who is more than capable of taking the step up to Formula One."
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