Fernando Alonso's departure from Alpine left the team in shock, as Otmar Szafnauer admitted he was confident the Spaniard would sign a contract and continue with the team.
There are numerous aspects of Alpine's negotiations that motivated Alonso to leave the team, with the main one being contract length.
Alonso made clear he wanted a multi-year F1 contract, but the French squad only offered a disappointing 1+1 deal to the Spaniard.
Ironically, Alpine's reluctance to offer a long-term deal stemmed from their investment in Oscar Piastri, who (unknown to Alpine) had already signed elsewhere.
According to Motor Sport Magazine, Alpine's contract also consisted of a reduced salary for the Double World Champion.
Whilst failing to meet Alonso's demands for a multi-year deal is likely what prevented an agreement from being reached, this was another element that may have contributed to his decision.
Not only was Alonso offered less money, but according to one of Motor Sport Magazine's sources, Alonso would have a lower 2023 salary than his teammate Esteban Ocon.
The nature of Ocon's long-term contract with Alpine F1 (signed early last year) means the Frenchman's salary is due to increase in 2023.
Alpine's offer to Alonso would therefore see the Spaniard potentially earning less than his French counterpart.
It does not appear this was the straw that broke the metaphorical camel's back, but perhaps symbolically, this represented Alpine's inability to prioritise Alonso.
The French team's position was by no means simple, as they had to find a compromise to satisfy both Alonso and Piastri.
However, in trying to hit two birds with one stone, they missed both birds and found themselves embarrassingly exposed without either of these top talents.
Esteban Ocon is a solid driver, and his contract is not to blame for Alpine's failure. Still, some would argue that offering the Frenchman such a long-term deal (after being comprehensively beaten by Ricciardo in 2020) was illogical.
Piastri and Alonso's next steps may come as a surprise, but when considering the talent at their disposal, the team, currently 4th in the constructors, will need to evaluate how things went so wrong so quickly.