Oscar Piastri felt there was a lack of clarity that led to his Alpine exit. The young Australian, who was cleared by the FIA’s contract regulatory body, will be joining McLaren for 2023 and shared his side of the story after getting the clearance.
Speaking to Formula 1’s official website, the Alpine reserve driver said:
“The CRB ruling has confirmed I didn’t have a contract for the 2023 season [with Alpine]. I was free to choose my destiny – and I felt McLaren was a great opportunity. They were very straightforward and very keen and enthusiastic to have me. To be completely honest, there was a lack of clarity around my future at the team at Alpine.”
The Australian revealed that McLaren’s straightforward contract negotiations attracted him more than Alpine’s reluctance to sign him immediately despite being their reserve driver. Oscar Piastri felt that there was a lack of clarity in their negotiations with both Fernando Alonso and himself, which made him choose another team. It is understood that he was used as leverage in the negotiations with the Spanish champion, which also made him switch to Aston Martin.
Describing the nature of the negotiations, the Australian said:
“They publicly stated they wished to continue with Fernando for at least one or two more years. I respect that. But after spending the year out, my hopes were firmly set on an Alpine seat and the lack of clarity and, similarly to Fernando, a bit of a strange feeling in negotiations, it didn’t feel like it was the right decision for me [to stay around].”
Oscar Piastri decided to leave Alpine after a lack of trust in Alpine’s plan for his future
After the CRB ruled harshly against Alpine, it was learnt that Oscar Piastri was not legally bound to the French outfit and was given clearance to race with McLaren. The Australian’s version of events suggested that there was not only a lack of clarity but also a loss of trust due to the team’s indecisiveness about making him a lucrative offer.
Explaining his reasons for quitting Alpine and moving to McLaren, the F2 champion said:
“The lack of clarity around my future, and ultimately a breakdown in trust, I felt the very attractive offer of McLaren and the positive dealings with them thus far were all reasons why I felt McLaren was where I was best off for the future.”
Revealing the complicated situation in July, the future McLaren driver said:
“My decision was made well in advance [of Alonso’s departure], which made Alpine’s announcement probably even more confusing and upsetting because we had told the team that I wasn’t going to continue. It was quite upsetting as the announcement was false and it also denied me the opportunity to properly say goodbye to everyone at Enstone.”
Alpine had announced him as a driver for 2023, shortly after Alonso announced his departure, which was complicating for the Australian as the team were aware of his talks with other teams. Oscar Piastri soon denied being a part of the team’s line-up which was announced without his consent and complicated the situation.
According to reports, the F2 champion had already signed his contract with McLaren two weeks earlier. However, the saga hit the FIA tribunal and raked up controversy around the rookie before he could debut in F1. Alpine turned out to be the losing party who lost to both Alonso and Oscar Piastri.