Oscar Piastri to Make F1 Debut With McLaren in 2023 – Sports Illustrated

A decision has been made about the future of Oscar Piastri.
The FIA’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB) met on Monday and reviewed the ongoing contract dispute between Alpine and McLaren. On Friday, the board upheld McLaren’s contract with Piastri, which was dated the day after the British Grand Prix. The F2 champion “is entitled to drive for McLaren Racing Limited for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.”
Soon after the board’s ruling, McLaren confirmed its 2023 F1 driver lineup would be Piastri and Lando Norris. 
“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,” Piastri said in a press release from McLaren. “The team has a long tradition of giving young talent a chance, and I’m looking forward to working hard alongside Lando [Norris] 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.”
A day after Aston Martin announced that Fernando Alonso would race for them starting next season, Alpine said Piastri ​​would be a part of the 2023 F1 driver lineup alongside Esteban Ocon. Within hours, the 21-year-old refuted the claim on Twitter, saying in part, that he had not “signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.” By the end of that week and ahead of the summer shutdown, it had been widely reported that McLaren informed Daniel Ricciardo that it intended to replace the eight-time race winner with Piastri next season. On Aug. 24, news broke that McLaren and Ricciardo “mutually agreed” to split at the end of the 2022 campaign.
Alpine said in a statement, per Chris Medland: “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.”
Throughout the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, the topic of Piastri’s future loomed over the paddock. Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer commented on his confidence in the team’s contract with the Formula Two champion during Saturday’s press conference, later adding that when Piastri was told he’d replace Alonso, he “smiled and was thankful.”
“He’s a promising young driver. He hasn’t driven in Formula One yet, and my wish for Oscar is he had a bit more integrity,” Szafnauer told Sky Sports F1. “He signed a piece of paper as well back in November, and we’ve done everything on our end of the bargain to prepare him for Formula One, and his end of the bargain was to either drive for us, or take a seat where we would place him for the next three years.
“I just wish Oscar would have remembered what he signed in November and what he signed up to.”
Szafnauer was asked during Saturday’s press conference whether the team would take back Ricciardo, who previously raced for the team back when it was known as Renault. He responded, “Can I tell you after Monday? Because I might not even have to think about that.”
As far as Alpine’s relationship with its reserve driver in wake of the debacle, the team boss confirmed Saturday that Piastri was “back in Enstone, he’s driving our simulator, helping with car set-up and we need to prepare Oscar in no different manner than we have in the past so the relationship hasn't wavered and we continue.”
When prompted with why Alpine chose to go to the CRB, Szafnauer said it was “the logical next step” and referenced a similar incident from several years ago. “I just happened to be there when it happened to Jenson Button, when he signed for Williams but BAR Honda rightfully took up their option on Jenson. Jenson really wanted to go to Williams, BAR Honda won at the CRB and then had a great relationship with Jenson, culminating in a world championship, albeit that was the year after Honda left but it was still basically the same team.”


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