Oscar Piastri has thanked Alpine team members for their support after his move to McLaren for next season was confirmed.
The dispute between Alpine and McLaren over Piastri’s services was resolved today by the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board. Piastri, who has been an Alpine junior driver since 2020, will make his F1 debut for McLaren.
“I am super-excited to be joining the grid and with such a prestigious team like McLaren,” said Piastri on social media after the CRB’s decision was announced. “I have no doubt it’s a great place to start my career. It’s been a long road up until this point.”
Alpine was infuriated by its reserve driver’s move, having announced him as Fernando Alonso’s replacement for next year. Team principal Otmar Szafnauer said last week “my wish for Oscar is that he had a bit more integrity”.
Piastri thanked the team for the backing they had given him. “I’ve been racing for 12 years and this was my dream from the very beginning,” he continued. “So I just want to thank everybody who supported me throughout my journey, including my colleagues at Alpine for the past few years.
“Also my family in particular, who have made a significant contribution to supporting my career from the very beginning. I can’t wait to be representing papaya. I’ll be doing my best to drive as quickly as possible and get some good results.”
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said they never had any doubt the CRB would rule in their favour having hired Piastri to replace Daniel Ricciardo alongside Lando Norris.
“In terms of the Contract Recognition Board, to be honest for us, that was never a case,” he told Sky. “Therefore, I guess it’s better you ask the other party involved why they thought they had a case and therefore this is not really any surprise for us.
“It’s important now we can look to the future. It’s important also to focus at the same time on the final eight races of the season, together with Daniel and Lando. We want to finish the season in a good fight with the Alpines and then focus on next year.”
Piastr “has shown in the junior categories that he is something very special and has a lot of potential,” Seidl added. “Plus, I think also in terms of personality, I think he is a perfect fit into our team, and that should be the main focus of the news.”
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