Oscar Piastri officially announced as McLaren driver to partner Lando Norris after Alpine loses legal case to unanimous vote

Oscar Piastri is now certain to drive for McLaren in 2023 after FIA’s Contract Recognition Board ruled in favour of them over Alpine.

This decision will leave Alpine still on the hunt for a driver, while McLaren has swiftly found a solution to Daniel Ricciardo’s vacant seat.

Alpine believed it had a right to promote reserve driver Piastri to a full-time role and even made a social media announcement about his new role, only for the young Australian to deny any such deal.

This saw Alpine and McLaren get involved in a legal battle.

Is Piastri happy with the outcome?

Alpine line-up 2022. Credit: thesportsmole.co.uk

Eventually, the Contract Recognition Board (CRB) unanimously ruled in favour of McLaren and the team quickly announced that Piastri would be racing alongside Lando Norris for the next two years.

“I’m extremely excited to be making my F1 debut with such a prestigious team as McLaren and I’m very grateful for the opportunity that’s been offered to me,” said Piastri.

“The team has a long tradition of giving young talent a chance, and I’m looking forward to working hard alongside Lando to push the team towards the front of the grid.”

Meanwhile, Alpine is now consigned to its fate and has said it will inform the public about who will race alongside Esteban Ocon next year, with AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly emerging as the favourite.

Gasly has one more year on his deal with AlphaTauri, but the Red Bull management is open to seeing him leave.

Why did McLaren want Piastri so badly?

Oscar Piastri. Credit: autoweek.com
Oscar Piastri. Credit: autoweek.com

Piastri will arrive at McLaren as one of the hottest prospects in the sport after having won the Formula 3 and Formula 2 championships in consecutive years.

“Oscar is one of the up-and-coming talents coming through the feeder series into F1 and we are delighted to see him join the team for 2023,” said McLaren CEO Zak Brown.

“Winning both F3 and F2 in successive rookie seasons is a real achievement and testament to his talent in single-seater racing. In Lando and Oscar we have a young, exciting F1 line-up with a huge amount of potential, standing us in good stead to achieve our future ambitions.”

Meanwhile, Andreas Seidl explained why his team went after Piastri.

“There are two reasons why we wanted to have Oscar.

“I think he has shown in the junior categories that he’s something very special and has a lot of potential. Plus, also in terms of personality I think he’s a perfect fit into our team and that should be the main focus of the news.

“In terms of the Contract Recognition Board, for us, that was never a case therefore I guess it’s better that you ask the other party involved why they thought they had a case.

“Therefore this [decision] is not really any surprise for us. It’s important now we can look to the future, and at the same time, focus on the final eight races of the season together with Daniel and Lando.”

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