The FIA’s tribunal to resolve driver contract disputes has cleared Oscar Piastri to race for McLaren in 2023 and 2024. The legal dispute between Alpine and the Australian has finally ended with a verdict in McLaren’s favor.
Announcing the verdict on the Australian in a press release, the FIA board said:
“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. The members of the Tribunal comprised Ian Hunter QC presiding, Prof. Klaus Peter Berger, Matthieu de Boisseson and Stefano Azzali.”
A tribunal consisting of four people called the Contract Recognition Board was appointed to examine the nature of the F2 champion's contract with Alpine and whether he was entitled to race for another team. Otmar Szafnauer had mentioned earlier that his team was keen on legally protesting against Oscar Piastri jumping ship to McLaren. However, after examining the contract, the FIA cleared the former Alpine reserve driver to drive for McLaren in the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
Explaining the nature of their tribunal and its function, the FIA said:
“The FIA's Driver Contract Recognition Board (CRB) was set up to deal with the registration of contracts for drivers in the FIA Formula One World Championship, and any issues related to the priority of contracts between drivers and Formula 1 teams over the same time period.”
Alpine accept FIA decision on Oscar Piastri and state the matter is closed
After FIA cleared Oscar Piastri to race for McLaren, Alpine have given a statement considering the dispute closed. The Enstone-based team has accepted the decision of F1’s regulatory body and has shifted its focus to the 2022 F1 Dutch GP.
Closing the matter involving Piastri, Alpine released a statement saying:
“We consider the matter closed on our side and will announce our full 2023 driver line-up in due course. Our immediate focus is the Dutch Grand Prix and securing points in our fight for fourth in the Constructors’ Championship.”
While Otmar Szafnauer was not happy with the way the entire silly season saga played out, there will be no further legal dispute with Oscar Piastri. The Alpine team have stated their intention in wanting their investment back from the Australian, but that seems like a non-issue at the moment.