Alpine ‘drawing a line’ under Oscar Piastri saga, free to test for McLaren

Michelle Foster
Oscar Piastri putting on his fireproofs. Monaco May 2022

Oscar Piastri will be “free” to test for McLaren in the post-season Abu Dhabi outing, with Alpine “drawing a line” under the saga.

The Piastri-Alpine drama made headlines as Formula 1 entered its summer break in August, the Enstone team kicking it off as they announced him as Fernando Alonso’s replacement for the 2023 season.

Piastri then took to social media to deny that, insisting he would not be with Alpine, and so began a drawn-out saga.

The team insisted several times they had a valid contract with him for next season and even took the matter to F1’s Contract Recognition Board.

The CRB, though, ruled the only valid contract for 2023 was between the driver and McLaren.

Alpine said in the wake of that ruling they may release him early but nothing came of that – so much so that McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl said he did not think Piastri would be able to test for McLaren in Abu Dhabi.

Alpine, though, have now said he can.

“There was a negotiation on an agreement as to how to part ways,” team boss Otmar Szafnauer confirmed to Motorsport.com.

“We are drawing a line under it.

“Once this season ends, he’s free to go and do whatever he wants to do.”

That deal is what opened the door for Piastri to take part in a recent private test with McLaren at the Paul Ricard circuit.

“All that was part of it,” Szafnauer confirmed.

Last week, Piastri spent two days testing at the Paul Ricard circuit, the driver behind the wheel of last year’s MCL35M.

His next outing with McLaren will now be the post-season Abu Dhabi test at the Yas Marina circuit.

Piastri will partner Lando Norris at McLaren next season, Daniel Ricciardo making way for his compatriot after agreeing to end his McLaren stay two years into what was a three-year contract.