F1: Oscar Piastri replaces Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren after dramatic rejection of F1 seat at Alpine

F1: Oscar Piastri replaces Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren after dramatic rejection of F1 seat at Alpine

F1: Oscar Piastri replaces Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren after dramatic rejection of F1 seat at Alpine

McLaren has announced the signing of Oscar Piastri as their Formula 1 driver on a “multi-year contract” – after Alpine originally announced the Australian would race for them.

Last year’s F2 champion Piastri was announced as Alpine’s F1 driver last month in a press release that aroused suspicion after it contained no quotes from the 21-year-old himself and hours later Piastri insisted that this press release had been published.” without his consent” and he has “not signed a contract with Alpine before 2023”, adding that he “will not be driving for Alpine next year”.

Now, Piastri – who is led by nine-time Grand Prix winner and compatriot Mark Webber – has been announced as a driver for McLaren for 2023 in an announcement made by the Woking-based team, which is teaming up with Lando Norris and has signed a “multi-year contract”. .”

McLaren and Alpine both presented their cases to F1’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB) this week, with the belief that they have eligible contracts for Piastri next year – but the board announced on Friday that they were in favor of McLaren. have decided.

A statement from the CRB detailed: “The only contract to be recognized is the contract between McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Piastri dated July 4, 2022. Mr Piastri has the right to drive for McLaren Racing for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. ”

Oscar Piastri

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McLaren has announced the signing of Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastr

(Getty images)

This notes that Piastri signed a two-year contract with McLaren the day after the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, despite Ricciardo publicly committing his future to the team nine days later on 13 July.

Alpine confirmed they will not appeal the decision, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly now the favorite to fill the vacant Alpine seat in what would be an all-French lineup alongside Ocon.

“I am extremely excited to make my F1 debut with such a prestigious team as McLaren and I am very grateful for the opportunity presented to me,” said Piastri.

“The team has a long tradition of giving young talent a chance and I look forward to working hard with Lando to push the team forward. I am focused on preparing for my F1 debut in 2023 and starting my F1 career in papaya. ”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown added: “Oscar is one of the emerging talents coming to F1 through the feeder series and we are excited to see him join the team for 2023.

“Winning both F3 and F2 in consecutive rookie seasons is a real achievement and a testament to his talent in single-seater racing. With Lando and Oscar, we have a young, exciting F1 line-up with huge potential, which will serve us well 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.”

In a dramatic month or so, Fernando Alonso has stunned the paddock by signing a “multi-year contract” with Aston Martin starting next year – reinstating Sebastian Vettel announcing his retirement – allowing Alpine to fill a seat with partner Esteban Ocon.

Daniel Ricciardo is currently without a disc for 2023 (Bradley Collyer/PA)

(PA wire)

Alpine then announced Piastri before saying in a stunning rebuttal to Alpine on Twitter: “I understand that Alpine F1 without my permission issued a press release late this afternoon that I will be driving for them next year.

“This is not true and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not drive for Alpine next year.”

The Australian joined the Alpine Academy as a teenager, becoming only the third man after Charles Leclerc and George Russell to win consecutive Formula 2 and Formula 3 drivers’ championships.

Piastri has racked up a string of victories in the early stages of his career, winning the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup and 2020 Formula 3 Championship, as well as last year’s F2 win in his rookie season.

He became the sixth driver to win GP2/F2 in his debut year and in 2022 tested the 2021 Alpine F1 car, the A521, at locations such as Silverstone and Qatar, while waiting in the wings for a spot on the grid to open. to go .

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