Zak Brown praises maturity with which Oscar Piastri handled Alpine’s ‘inaccurate statements’

McLaren boss Zak Brown has been impressed with the mature manner in which youngster Oscar Piastri has dealt with “very unpleasant” words from Alpine principal Otmar Szafnauer.

Alpine and McLaren were involved in a big tussle for Piastri’s signature after Fernando Alonso had announced his decision to join Aston Martin.

Piastri was the reserve driver at Alpine and the team felt it had every right to promote him to the full-time role.

However, the young Australian driver had already been in contact with McLaren after the Papaya-Orange was certain it didn’t want Daniel Ricciardo to stay at the team much longer.

A legal battle ensued where the Alpine junior’s future was the main agenda.

FIA’s Contract Recognitions Board eventually ruled in McLaren’s favour and Piastri was allowed to leave Alpine without any financial trouble.

Piastri then said that he had told Alpine his plan “plenty of times” even before the team announced that he was getting promoted to race alongside Esteban Ocon.

McLaren boss Brown has commended the maturity with with Piastri handled what could have been a tricky situation, especially given his relative lack of experience in such matters.

“Oscar is very focused, very mature, determined, doesn’t seem to have a lot of ups and downs in his emotions,” Brown said.

“And I saw a lot of that through the turmoil over the summer. You know, he’s a 21-year-old and here you have a big OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer], was making accusations and taking you to court, and then you have to be a pretty tough character as a 21-year-old to be unfazed by that, and he was, and he kept his head down, and I think he’s going to let his driving do his talking.

“He didn’t get into a war of words, even though Otmar said some very unpleasant and inaccurate statements. You know, Oscar didn’t rise to that.

“So what I see is a very focused, determined, mature 21-year-old. That’s what I see out of the car, and in the car, we see the same thing and we see that he’s very fast.”

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