Andreas Seidl hits out at ‘inappropriate, unfair’ comments in Oscar Piastri saga

Michelle Foster
Oscar Piastri sitting in the Alpine F1 car. Canada June 2022

Reserve driver Oscar Piastri sitting in the Alpine F1 car. Canada June 2022

Andreas Seidl says too many comments made during the Oscar Piastri contract saga were “inappropriate, not fair and just not respecting what was happening”.

After weeks of suspense, F1’s Contract Recognition Board announced on Friday that the only valid contract for Piastri’s services for 2023 was with McLaren, the CRB denying Alpine’s claim on the driver.

Minutes later McLaren announced the 21-year-old as Lando Norris’ 2023 team-mate, the driver having signed a multi-year contract.

Interestingly the CRB stated that the contract had been signed back in July, the 4th to be precise.

Its ruling raises questions as to why, and how, Alpine firmly believed the driver was theirs.

Team boss Otmar Szafnauer had insisted several times that their lawyers had looked over contract and that everything was above board. He even went as far to say he wished Piastri had a bit more “integrity”.

But while Szafnauer gave several interviews, McLaren kept quiet on the matter, not even publicly confirming that they were the other party in the contract dispute.

Seidl is now having his say.

“Regarding the comments we have seen from the other parties, it’s not for us to comment,” he told media including RaceFans. “I think you have to ask there.

“For us, to be honest, it was quite straightforward. There’s two things you need to have in place if you want to have a driver driving for you in Formula 1, which is a contract and a registration with the contract recognition board.

“That’s what we have put in place in July and therefore our plan was clear.”

He continued saying he was “surprised about some of the comments I’ve read also from people that had no detailed knowledge of what was actually happening.

“I think some of these comments were therefore also inappropriate, not fair and just not respecting what was happening.

“If I just look at myself in such a situation if I only know what happened from one side I try to stay away from making comments on it, and I think that’s also important to mention also in order to protect Oscar.”

The Piastri saga was widely reported on during the summer break with pundits giving their opinions on the matter.

Jacques Villeneuve told Reuters he felt the reigning Formula 2 champion was playing a “a very dangerous game.

“It brings to your name into question that whenever a team or sponsor will sign a deal with you there will always be this question, umm how will we be treated? What will happen when we trust this person?”

Ralf Schumacher, though, took the driver’s side and blamed Alpine and Szafnauer for the drama.