The FIA Contract Recognitions Board have ruled that Oscar Piastri’s contract with McLaren is valid and so the Australian will drive alongside Lando Norris.
The CRB, which consists of four qualified lawyers from different nationalities all of whom have experience of contract law, convened on Monday to come to a decision over the Alpine and McLaren dispute over Piastri’s future.
Just over a month ago, following Fernando Alonso’s announcement that he would be moving to Aston Martin for 2023 to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel, Alpine sent out a press release stating that Piastri would be driving for them alongside Esteban Ocon.
A few hours later the young Australian made his own statement on social media definitively saying that he did not have a contract with Alpine and would not be driving for them. Alpine disagreed with Piastri about not having a contract and so the CRB had to be called in to settle the issue.
The decision that the lawyers came to was announced this afternoon as they decided that “the only Contract to be recognised by the Board is the Contract between McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Piastri dated 4 July 2022.”
Following that announcement McLaren confirmed that Piastri would be driving alongside Norris from next season.
“I’m extremely excited to be making my F1 debut with such a prestigious team as McLaren,” Piastri said, “and I’m very grateful for the opportunity that’s been offered to me. 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.”
Following the CRB decision Alpine released a statement which read: “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.”
McLaren Team Principal, Andreas Seidl, welcomed Piastri to the team and said that they felt he, along with Norris, would be the right pairing to move the team forward.
“The entire team is delighted to welcome Oscar to McLaren for the 2023 F1 season,” Seidl said. “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.”
While Zak Brown, McLaren’s CEO, said: “Oscar is one of the up-and-coming talents coming through the feeder series into F1 and we are delighted to see him join the team for 2023. Winning both F3 and F2 in successive rookie seasons is a real achievement and testament to his talent in single-seater racing.
“In Lando and Oscar we have a young, exciting F1 line-up with a huge amount of potential, standing us in good stead 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.”
The full Contract Recognition Board decision read as follows:
“A Tribunal appointed by the Contract Recognition Board held a meeting on 29 August 2022 when counsel for Alpine Racing Limited, McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Oscar Piastri were heard.
“The Tribunal has 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.
“Mr Piastri is entitled to drive for McLaren Racing Limited for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. The members of the Tribunal comprised Ian Hunter QC presiding, Prof. Klaus Peter Berger, Matthieu de Boisseson and Stefano Azzali.”
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) September 2, 2022