The Oscar Piastri affair, which has been shaking the paddock since August 1, has just found its epilogue. Two teams, Alpine and McLaren, claimed a contract in good and due form with hopeful Oscar Piastri for next season. The Contract Recognition Office of the International Automobile Federation, arbiter of the disputes, ruled in favor of the second on Friday. In the process, McLaren formalized the tenure of the 21-year-old Melbourne prodigy for at least 2023 and 2024.
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He will replace his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo, dismissed a year before the end of his contract with the Woking team, and will team up with Englishman Lando Norris, 22, hired until 2025 inclusive.
Alpine trained Oscar Piastri for four years, during which his rise to prominence was noticed, since he won the three most important youth championships, in a row, which no pilot had done: the Eurocup of Formula Renault in 2019, Formula 3 in 2020 and Formula 2 in 2021.
“A young and exciting team”
Alpine F1 Team had promoted him to a reserve in Formula 1 this season, with the promise of finding him a steering wheel to race in 2023, but it caused trouble by favoring continuity with Fernando Alonso. While trying to find him a place in another team next year – she would have offered him a steering wheel at Williams which he would have refused – the French team attempted a bluff on August 1 in l announcing as its holder, in reaction to the surprise departure of Fernando Alonso from Aston Martin, without the agreement of the principal concerned. Who reacted by specifying in a tweet that became famous that he would not drive for the Blues in 2023. It was then that we understood that his agent, the former Formula 1 driver Mark Webber, had signed with McLaren .
“Oscar is one of the promising talents in F1’s antechamber series and we are delighted to have him join the team for 2023.said Zak Brown, managing director of McLaren Racing. Winning F3 and F2 as a rookie is a real achievement and a testament to his talent. With Lando and Oscar, we have a young and exciting F1 team with huge potential, which puts us in a good position to achieve our future ambitions. Oscar is an exciting addition to the McLaren family, and we look forward to seeing him grow with our F1 team.”
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“I am very excited to make my F1 debut with such a prestigious team as McLaren and I am very grateful for the opportunity given to me.said Oscar Piastri. The team has a long tradition of giving young talent a chance, and I look forward to working hard alongside Lando to push the team to the front of the grid. My focus is on preparing for my F1 debut in 2023 and starting my F1 career in papaya orange.”
The irony of the story is that Alpine had made an agreement with McLaren at the start of the season to make him their official reserve and to race him if necessary. Which almost happened because Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) had tested positive for Covid 19 just before the opening of the world championship. The other irony is that Oscar Piastri was still in the Alpine simulator last week, preparing for the Belgian Grand Prix, and the Blues will have to determine if they continue to trust him and prepare him for the Formula 1, for McLaren.
Finally, Alpine finds itself faced with the enormous challenge of finding the successor to Fernando Alonso without being able to make McLaren pay any sum for the driver’s training years and his 2023 contract. And the ultimate irony is that the team run by Laurent Rossi is now waiting for a gesture from his English rival. Indeed, she now wants to buy back from AlphaTauri the last year of Pierre Gasly’s contract. What Red Bull, parent company of AlphaTauri and owner of the French contract, does not object. On one condition: to be able to replace the Norman by the American Colton Herta, McLaren driver in Indy, who only has 32 points out of the 40 necessary to obtain his super license in Formula 1. Before being released by McLaren…
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