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Brown: Szafnauer “looks a little silly” after Piastri comments

Zak Brown. Credits: @PrimeF1__ (Twitter).

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes that Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer “looks a little silly” after his comments on Oscar Piastri’s contract.

Alpine announced in August that Piastri will replace Fernando Alonso in the 2023 F1 season. However, the Australian denied it later.

The reason for that was Piastri’s agreement with McLaren. At the same time, Alpine claimed that Piastri was obliged to drive for them. The dispute was resolved by the Contract Recognition Board which made the decision in favor of McLaren. Shortly after, the Woking-based outfit confirmed that Piastri will join them.

McLaren did not comment on the matter before the CRB’s decision. Brown explained why they took such an approach.

“Before the CRB ruling, they didn’t know what they didn’t know and we kept our mouths shut deliberately,” he said during the IndyCar season finale at Laguna Seca.

“Now that ruling has come out and some of the detail, I think it’s clear what happened there. So we recognized there was a lot of noise, but we knew the truth would come out eventually and we could ride it out, as opposed to giving a running commentary.

“At the time we were not oblivious to the noise and some of the direct message notes I got from fans. But now we’re very comfortable that the CRB ruling has come out, and that’s very clear there.”

McLaren had a similar situation in IndyCar where they had a dispute with Chip Ganassi Racing regarding Alex Palou’s contract. The Spaniard stayed at CGR but got the opportunity to test the McLaren F1 car.

“It was very noisy, but we haven’t really commented on anything over here [in IndyCar] either.

“It’s best to let things play out, and we can give a little color afterward. If you look at Otmar’s comments, he was giving a play-by-play on the CRB and how confident they were, and now I think he looks a little silly.

“So I think that’s why it’s best to keep our mouths shut and comment on it afterward when there’s something concrete to say.”

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