Oscar Piastri stated that “a lack of clarity” over his future with Alpine led to his switch to McLaren.
McLaren announced on Friday that Piastri will join the team for the 2023 season. McLaren and Alpine had a dispute over his future as the latter believed that the Australian was obliged to drive for them. The Contract Recognition Board had a hearing on Monday and made a decision in favor of the Woking-based outfit.
Following the McLaren announcement, Piastri revealed why he decided to make a switch.
“The CRB ruling has confirmed I didn’t have a contract for the 2023 season [with Alpine]. I was free to choose my destiny – and I felt McLaren was a great opportunity. They were very straightforward and very keen and enthusiastic to have me. To be completely honest, there was a lack of clarity around my future at the team at Alpine,” the 21-year-old said in an interview with the official Formula 1 website.
“They publicly stated they wished to continue with Fernando [Alonso] for at least one or two more years. I respect that. But after spending the year out, my hopes were firmly set on an Alpine seat and the lack of clarity and, similarly to Fernando, a bit of a strange feeling in negotiations, it didn’t feel like it was the right decision for me [to stay around].
“The lack of clarity around my future, and ultimately a breakdown in trust, I felt the very attractive offer of McLaren, and the positive dealings with them thus far were all reasons why I felt McLaren was where I was best off for the future.”
Nevertheless, Piastri was thankful to Alpine for their time together.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with Alpine. I joined the Academy off the back of winning the Formula Renault championship in 2019 as part of the prize for winning the championship and enjoyed two incredibly successful years as part of the Academy with two further championships, so I have nothing but respect for all the team at Enstone.
“It was a good testing program that we came up with Alpine this year, in place of not having a seat for this year. It’s put me in good stead, and I’m very thankful for Alpine for the testing we have done this year, but McLaren is a different team, a different car, and the 2022 cars in general are quite different beasts, so we’ll see how much of that carries over.
“I will look back on my time at Enstone with great memories, but I’m now focusing on my future and starting my F1 career.”