Oscar Piastri will race for McLaren next year after the British team won a legal dispute with Alpine.
With Fernando Alonso’s move to Aston Martin to replace Sebastian Vettel, Alpine has announced that the highly rated Piastri (21) will be promoted from his role as reserve driver.
However, Piastri later said that, unbeknownst to the French team, he would not be driving for Alpine after signing a deal with McLaren to take over the seat of ousted Daniel Ricciardo.
2021 F2 champions signed @OscarPiastri.
Oscar joins Lando to form an exciting line-up of F1 drivers from 2023. 👊
Full story. ⬇️
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) September 2, 2022
Formula One’s Driver Contracts Accreditation Board (composed of four lawyers) met on Monday to announce the results just before second free practice at the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, with Piastri’s decided fate.
CRB has confirmed that Piastri signed a deal with McLaren on 4 July. This was the day after the British Grand Prix and more than seven weeks before Ricciardo’s departure from McLaren became clear.
Ricciardo, struggling to save his F1 career, finished 13th out of 14 at Silverstone.
A statement from F1, which governs the FIA, reads:
Can’t wait to get started! @McLaren F1 🧡https://t.co/5h7dZzmwY3
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) September 2, 2022
“The Court has made a unanimous decision that the only contract that the Board will allow is the one between McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Piastri dated 4 July 2022. I am entitled to drive for McLaren Racing Limited for 2020 and the 2024 season.”
This development will be a big blow for Alpine. The French team said it would not appeal the CRB’s decision, adding: “We consider the matter resolved.”
Piastri has an impressive pedigree in the junior ranks, winning both Formula 2 and Formula 3 championships. He will team up with British driver Lando Norris at McLaren after agreeing the terms of a two-year deal.
“I am very excited to make my F1 debut with such a prestigious team as McLaren and I am very grateful for the opportunity that has been offered to me,” he said.
“The team has a long tradition of giving young talent a chance and I look forward to working hard together with Lando to push the team to the front of the grid. I am concentrating on starting my F1 career with Papaya.”
McLaren Chief Executive Zak Brown added:
“Winning both Formula 3 and Formula 2 in back-to-back rookie seasons is a true achievement and a testament to his prowess in single-seater racing.
“Lando and Oscar have a young and exciting F1 line-up with great potential to help us achieve our future ambitions.
“Oscar is an exciting addition to the McLaren family and we look forward to watching him grow with our F1 team.”