Alpine have said they “acknowledge” the decision of the Contract Recognition Board to clear Oscar Piastri to race for McLaren, and they now consider the matter closed.
Following Fernando Alonso’s move to Aston Martin, Alpine announced Formula 2 champion and reserve driver Piastri would take Alonso’s vacated seat for 2023, but the 21-year-old denied he would be doing so soon afterwards.
That was because, as the Contract Recognition Board’s ruling revealed, Piastri had signed an agreement in early July to race for McLaren, while Alpine felt they had fulfilled their contractual obligations to him as reserve driver to activate a clause to make him a race driver for next season.
Ultimately though, the subsequent verdict from the CRB came in McLaren’s favour, with the Woking-based team immediately confirming afterwards the young Australian will join the team, replacing his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo.
Alpine also swiftly issued a statement on the matter which read: “BWT Alpine F1 Team thanks the Contract Recognition Board (CRB) for convening on Monday and we acknowledge the decision they have made.
“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.”
The CRB confirmed Piastri is free to race for McLaren in 2023 and 2024, and last season’s Formula 2 champion is ready for the challenge in front of him.
“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 offered to me,” he said.
“I’m focused on preparing for my F1 debut in 2023 and starting my F1 career in papaya.”
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) September 2, 2022
What next for Alpine?
The rumours surrounding Pierre Gasly making a move to Alpine from AlphaTauri are not going away, intensifying day by day as the team seek a partner for Esteban Ocon.
It is well known Gasly and Ocon are not the best of friends, with the team’s current driver voicing his public desire to have Haas driver Mick Schumacher alongside him, but the end of the team’s drawn-out break-up with Piastri signals the moment they can make their move in the driver market.
Piastri is now ‘free’ from Alpine, Alpine have a clean slate in front of them, and if a move for Gasly materialises as reported, if an agreement is reached with Red Bull for an early release from his deal then the future of the team is now back in their own hands.