Putting all rumors to rest, McLaren have officially announced Formula 2 world champion Oscar Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo to partner Lando Norris for the 2023 F1 season.
As reported by SkySports, the FIA's Contract Recognition Board passed the verdict that Oscar Piastri was "entitled to drive for McLaren" in 2023 and 2024, despite Alpine's efforts to retain him for the near future. The statement read:
“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.”
In an official statement, as reported by the Express, Oscar Piastri shared his excitement about making his debut in F1, saying:
“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. 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.”
Putting an end to the drama surrounding Oscar Piastri's 2023 season in F1
Earlier in the summer break, Alpine had announced that Oscar Piastri would be racing for the French outfit in 2023. The announcement came after the team was given the news that two-time world champion Fernando Alonso had decided to join Aston Martin for the next season and beyond. Piastri, in a shocking turn of events, immediately denied that he signed any contract with Alpine to race for the team in 2023.
In a social media statement, Oscar Piastri wrote:
“I understand that, without my agreement, Alpine F1 have put out a press release late this afternoon that I am driving for them next year. This is wrong and I have not signed a contract with Alpine for 2023. I will not be driving for Alpine next year.”
Unlike the way things unfolded with Alpine, Piastri, too, has now confirmed that he will be racing for the Woking-based team in 2023.
Daniel Ricciardo's future at McLaren has been in question since the very beginning of the 2022 season, given his performance gap to teammate Lando Norris. Just before heading into this year's Belgian Grand Prix, it was confirmed that the eight-time Grand Prix winner was cutting his deal short to part ways with McLaren at the end of the season. No confirmation has been made regarding Ricciardo's plans for the next year and beyond.