How McLaren did its Piastri F1 deal – and what Alpine knew

The Race understands that when Oscar Piastri signed his contract in early July, he did not initially have a guaranteed 2023 Formula 1 seat with McLaren.

Piastri has agreed to join McLaren instead of staying at the Alpine stables next year.

Alpine believes Piastri has a 2024 option in his 2023 contract and wants to loan his reserve driver to Williams before eventually promoting him to the working team.

However, the F1 Contract Recognition Commission ruled on Friday that only McLaren had a valid contract for Piastri services next year, revealing that the contract was signed on July 4.

That was seven weeks before McLaren announced the early termination of Daniel Ricciardo’s contract, and Ricciardo later admitted he did not know the Piastri deal had been completed at the time.

In fact, just a week after Piastri signed with McLaren, Ricciardo publicly insisted on social media that he “will be committed to McLaren until the end of next year”.

“Obviously we’re not going to detail what’s in our contract with Oscar,” McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said.

“Regarding Daniel, as we communicated last week, I think over the course of the year, Zach [Brown, McLaren Racing CEO] Whenever and wherever, Daniel and I have had open and transparent conversations.

“So there’s no problem with that.”

The Race understands that the comment about not detailing the details of Piastri’s contract refers to the fact that he is not explicitly signed for the 2023 race seat, even if that is McLaren’s ultimate wish and intention.

Oscar Piastrie Alpine F1

Piastri’s contract is believed to cover at least 2023 and 2024, with flexibility depending on whether Ricciardo completes his full three-year deal.

It is understood that Piastri is aware of the possibility that he could become a backup driver for McLaren in 2023 before securing a race seat in 2024.

This allows McLaren to sign a contract with Piastri and then have time to discuss plans for 2023 with Ricciardo – who is understood to have known McLaren’s interest in Pia at the time of signing the contract at least in early July Stry’s interest.

Once they agreed to terminate Ricciardo’s contract early, McLaren knew that Piastri could replace him.

“For us, honestly, it’s pretty simple,” Seidl said when he assured it had Piastri.

“If you want a driver to drive for you in Formula 1, you need to prepare two things, a contract and a registration with the Contract Recognition Board.

“That’s what we implemented in July. So our plan is clear.”

For Piastri, another critical element of the saga is Alpine’s accusations that he should show more integrity.

It has been suggested that Piastri had acted inappropriately in the chase away from the Alps, especially as he publicly rejected the team’s claim that he would be a driver for 2023.

This comes on Tuesday after the Hungarian Grand Prix, after it was revealed that Fernando Alonso, who Alpine expects to remain in office in 2023, will switch to Aston Martin.

Alpine announced Piastri as a driver for 2023 on Tuesday afternoon, and hinted on Tuesday morning that what he wants to do is in doubt.

The Race understands that at this point Piastri had made his intentions clear to the team – and it was even suggested that Alpine knew about Pias before Alonso’s deal with Aston Martin was announced on Monday. What does Terry want to do.

Monaco Formula 1 World Championship Monaco Grand Prix Thursday Monte Carlo, Monaco

That means Piastri isn’t hiding his deal with McLaren, or at least he isn’t hiding from Alpine his desire to move there.

But Alpine likely stuck to the statement, as it firmly believes it has a binding agreement with Piastri for 2023 and wants to uphold its position.

That meant the controversy turned into a public one, and prompted Piastri to publicly dismiss the Alpine statement, which Piastri did not expect to make because his camp did not want the statement to go unquestioned.

In addition to Alpine apparently knowing Piastri’s intentions, Alpine is also responsible for the lack of a pre-existing Piastri contract with the team.

As revealed by RacingNews365, Alpine is only operating under a “terms lead” agreement until 2022, having been delaying sending the contract that Piastri’s manager Mark Webber often chases.

Piastri has not signed any agreements, certainly not for 2023, but Alpine believes the “term sheet” outlined last November constitutes a binding agreement.

That clash of opinions culminated in this week’s CRB hearing, which McLaren was confident of winning because Seidl said Piastri’s management had been “very transparent” throughout the process.

“Obviously, signing a driver in the end was the result of multiple conversations,” Seidl said.

Formula 1 World Championship Belgian Grand Prix qualifying day Spafrancorchamps Belgium

“People like us know that when you have the opportunity to sign someone like Oscar, with the speed and personality he shows, you want to have him.

“He’s a free agent, that’s why we talked to him about signing a contract. That’s pretty much it.

“Obviously my job with Zak is to understand the driver market in any situation, and the contract situation of all the drivers in the paddock, or the contract situation of the rookies in F2 or other categories, it’s a normal process.

“That’s our responsibility too. That’s what ultimately led to the signing of Oscar Piastri.”

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