On Friday, the International Motoring Federation (FIA), the organization that oversees motor racing, confirmed that Australian Oscar Piastri would compete for Formula One team McLaren rather than Alpine in 2019. The 21-year-old was involved in a dispute between Alpine and McLaren when the former claimed Piastri had a contract with them to drive and even announced him as part of their 2023 lineup. After some time, Piastri claimed he had no such agreement with them, forcing them into an embarrassing u-turn.
An FIA arbitration tribunal, however, found in favor of McLaren.
After deciding last week to end his contract a year early, Piastri will take Daniel Ricciardo’s spot in the squad. Ricciardo is a fellow countryman.
“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 McLaren statement on their website.
I’m excited to work hard with Lando (Norris) to move the team up the grid since the team has a long history of giving fresh players an opportunity.
The victory and sealing of the 2021 F2 champion pleased McLaren.
Oscar is a promising driver transitioning from a feeder series to Formula One, and McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown expressed excitement that he will join the squad in 2023.
“Winning the F3 and F2 championships in back-to-back rookie campaigns is a true accomplishment and evidence of his single-seater racing skill.
We have a youthful, dynamic F1 lineup with Lando and Oscar that has a tonne of potential, putting us in a fantastic position to realize our long-term goals.
Alpine released a curt statement.
Alpine F1 Team said, “We thank the Contract Recognition Board (CRB) for meeting on Monday, and we respect the conclusion they have taken.
“We view the situation as resolved from our perspective, and we will soon make public our 2023 driver lineup.
“The Dutch Grand Prix and earning points in our battle for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship are our immediate priorities.”
The argument started after Aston Martin hired Fernando Alonso, a two-time winner, from Alpine to replace four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who will retire next season.
When Alpine learned that Alonso wanted to quit, they revealed they were elevating Piastri; however, he retaliated by claiming he had not signed a contract.