Nico Rosberg: ‘Alpine did such a bad job’ on Oscar Piastri contract situation

Henry Valantine
Nico Rosberg attends a green event. Berlin June 2022.

2016 World Champion Nico Rosberg attends an environmental event.

Nico Rosberg has criticised Alpine for not having Oscar Piastri on a watertight contract that would have prevented his departure to McLaren for next season.

Formula 1’s Contract Recognition Board revealed their decision on Friday that confirmed Piastri could join McLaren after a contractual wrangle with Alpine that centred on a deal the young Australian signed with McLaren in early July.

Alpine countered a lengthy list of clauses included in their deal with their reserve driver had been fulfilled from their side in pursuit of a race seat for him in 2023, but the CRB ruled in McLaren’s favour and his move was officially confirmed moments after the decision was announced.

Piastri had already taken part in multiple in-season tests for Alpine in their 2021 car as they primed him for a 2022 drive, having also had him in their Academy on his swift rise through the junior categories.

Rosberg said he had “sympathy” for Alpine in their current state, but the business of Formula 1 is known for its ruthlessness – and he feels the French team should have done better in securing Piastri’s future for themselves.

“Alpine really did such a bad job there,” said Rosberg on Sky Sports F1.

“It’s really unbelievable for such a high-profile team to manage it so badly, investing so many millions into Piastri’s career, just to then not have him locked up in a contract and for him to be able to go away and take an offer from McLaren, so that’s really tough.”

Piastri and Lando Norris will form Formula 1’s youngest driver partnership when they begin working together at McLaren next season, with team principal Andreas Seidl saying reigning Formula 2 champion Piastri is “something very special” in terms of driving talent.

Rosberg praised the way Mark Webber was able to secure a seat for his young client, but warned it will be a tough ask to overcome Norris in the same team for the next two seasons.

“For Piastri’s management though and around Mark Webber, great job. Got him a fantastic race seat there [at] McLaren,” added Rosberg.

“That’s huge, amazing, but nevertheless it will be tough for Oscar to do well there because Lando is world class, he’s World Championship material.

“It won’t be that easy for him to come in and straight away do better than Daniel Ricciardo is at the moment, so that still remains to be seen.”

READ MORE: Why McLaren have gambled millions on Oscar Piastri success