Oscar Piastri will race for McLaren alongside Lando Norris for the 2023 season on a multi-year deal, following a decision of the Contract Recognition Board (CRB), which ruled that the Australian had a valid contract with the team for next year.
The CRB met on Monday in relation to a dispute between McLaren and Alpine over which of the two teams held a valid contract for Piastri, the reigning F2 champion and current Alpine reserve driver – with Alpine having claimed, following the departure of Fernando Alonso to Aston Martin in August, that Piastri would drive for them in 2023, only for Piastri to refute the claim.
And just ahead of Free Practice 2 for the Dutch Grand Prix, the FIA announced that the tribunal had “issued a Unanimous Decision that the only Contract to be recognised by the Board is the Contract between McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Piastri dated 4 July 2022”.
The ruling added that: “Mr Piastri is entitled to drive for McLaren Racing Limited for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.”
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Just after the ruling, McLaren confirmed that Piastri would indeed drive for the team in 2023 on a multi-year deal in place of Daniel Ricciardo, who agreed terms to leave McLaren at the end of 2022 ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.
“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 in a statement. “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. I’m focused on preparing for my F1 debut in 2023 and starting my F1 career in papaya.”
“The entire team is delighted to welcome Oscar to McLaren for the 2023 F1 season,” added McLaren Team Principal Andreas Seidl. “He has an impressive racing career to date, and we are sure that together with Lando, he will be able to help us move another step forward towards our ambitions. We still have an important job to do this season which the team remains focused on, before we will then ensure Oscar is integrated into the team as quickly as possible and ready for the challenges ahead. We look forward to preparing for an exciting 2023 season together.”
Responding to the CRB’s decision, meanwhile, an Alpine statement said: “BWT Alpine F1 Team thanks the Contract Recognition Board (CRB) for convening on Monday and we acknowledge the decision they have made.
“We consider the matter closed on our side and will announce our full 2023 driver line-up in due course.
“Our immediate focus is the Dutch Grand Prix and securing points in our fight for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.”