Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Alpine agrees to early F1 contract exit for Piastri

Alpine has agreed to end its contract with Oscar Piastri, allowing McLaren's future Formula 1 driver to make an earlier than expected start to life with the team.

Oscar Piastri, Reserve Driver, Alpine F1 Team

The two teams have been discussing Piastri’s contractual situation since he was announced as a 2023 McLaren driver in the summer.

Given the animosity surrounding Piastri’s move to the Woking outfit, Alpine initially appeared reluctant to do anything that might help him get a head start with his new team, with discussions dragging on for several weeks.

However the first sign that there had been progress came when it emerged that Piastri recently spent two days at Paul Ricard at the wheel of last year’s MCL35M, the car previously used to give some initial F1 mileage to Colton Herta, Alex Palou and Pato O’Ward.

McLaren has thus far given no details of the Paul Ricard test, other than simply confirming that it took place.

A final agreement with Alpine to formally release Piastri before the end of the calendar year has now been reached and he is set to make his first public appearance with McLaren in the current MCL36 at the young driver test on the Tuesday after the Abu Dhabi GP.

It’s understood that he won’t be taking part in FP1 on the Abu Dhabi race weekend, as that falls within this racing season.

In any case, McLaren has a previous commitment to run O’Ward in that session, having given Palou an outing in Austin.

Patricio O'Ward, McLaren MCL35M

Patricio O'Ward, McLaren MCL35M

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer confirmed to Autosport that a deal had been reached, and that Piastri was free to take part in the Abu Dhabi test.

“There was a negotiation on an agreement as to how to part ways,” said Szafnauer.

“We’re drawing a line under it. Once this season ends, he’s free to go and do whatever he wants to do.”

Asked about the Ricard test he said: “All that was part of it.”

Read Also:

Szafnauer and McLaren boss Andreas Seidl are expected to comment further on the Piastri situation in Saturday’s FIA press conference in Brazil.

As previously reported Piastri won’t be the only driver sampling his new team at the combined Abu Dhabi rookie and tyre test, with Fernando Alonso set to drive for Aston Martin, Pierre Gasly at Alpine, and Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri.

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Haas's shock Brazilian GP pole reminds us the joy F1 underdogs provide
Next article Russell's helmet broke headrest after Brazil F1 gravel trap battering

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe