McLaren announced on Friday that they have signed Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri to a multi-year deal to move into Formula 1 starting in 2023. Piastri would become Lando Norris’ teammate on the McLaren F1 team, replacing Daniel Ricciardo.
McLaren’s announcement came just after the FiA’s contract recognition board settled a dispute between McLaren and Alpine, both of whom believed they had a valid contract for Piastri to drive for them next season. During the F1 summer hiatus, Alpine announced that Piastri, their reserve driver, would move to a full-time job with their F1 team next season.
But shortly after, Piastri posted a tweet saying that the press release was false, that he had in fact not signed a contract with Alpine and would not be racing for the team in 2023.
CRB has decided to keep McLaren’s contract signed the day after the British Grand Prix in July. Shortly thereafter, Piastri’s move to McLaren was announced.
“I am thrilled to be making my F1 debut with a prestigious team like McLaren and I am very grateful for the opportunity.” read Piastri’s statement. “The team has a long tradition of giving young talent a chance and I look forward to working hard alongside Lando to bring the team to the top of the grid. I am focused on preparing for my F1 debut in 2023 and starting my F1 career in papaya.”
The 21-year-old Australian driver has risen rapidly through the ranks of Formula 1 over the past three years. After winning the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019, Piastri has competed in Formula 3 in 2020 and Formula 2 in 2021, winning the championship in both series.
Piastri’s successful hiring of McLaren is a humiliating event for Alpine, which is now without a driver to replace Fernando Alonso, who is leaving the team to replace the retiring Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin. According to ESPNPierre Gasly and Daniel Ricciardo are among the candidates for the position the team originally sought for Piastri.