Formula 1: Oscar Piastri to race for McLaren after contract dispute with Alpine
Australian Oscar Piastri will race for McLaren next season after the Formula One team won their contract dispute with Renault-owned rivals Alpine.
The sport’s four-person Contract Recognition Board (CRB) ruled unanimously in their published decision on Friday that McLaren had the only valid contract for the 21-year-old rookie’s services.
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Piastri, the 2021 Formula Two champion, had been Alpine’s reserve driver.
Alpine had wanted to promote him to a race seat after double world champion Fernando Alonso, 41, announced he was leaving for Aston Martin at the end of the season, but the Australian rejected the offer.
“The Tribunal has issued a unanimous decision that the only contract to be recognized by the Board is the contract between McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Piastri dated 4 July 2022,” said a statement issued by the governing FIA.
“Mr Piastri is entitled to drive for McLaren Racing Limited for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.”
McLaren confirmed the move in a separate statement shortly afterwards, announcing Piastri had signed a multi-year contract to partner British driver Lando Norris and replacing Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
“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,” it quoted Piastri as saying.
“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.”
Alpine acknowledged the verdict.
“We consider the matter closed on our side and will announce our full 2023 driver line-up in due course,” they said in a statement.