Oscar Piastri insists his move to McLaren was decided “well in advance” of Fernando Alonso’s decision to leave Alpine and free up that seat.
Piastri will join McLaren on a multiyear deal in 2023 after Formula One’s contracts board ruled against Alpine on Friday.
Alpine was in dispute with Piastri — the team’s reserve driver — after he said he didn’t want promotion to the Alpine seat vacated by Alonso on Aug. 1, the day after the Hungarian GP.
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer said Piastri was in a simulator room when told he would replace Alonso, and that Piastri smiled and was grateful. Because he wanted to retain the 21-year-old Australian, the matter went to F1’s Contract Recognition Board. The tribunal ruled that McLaren had an existing contract on July 4.