How CRB decision will decide Piastri’s F1 fate

A virtual meeting of the Contract Recognition Board on Monday is set to decide the Formula 1 future of Oscar Piastri.

How CRB decision will decide Piastri’s F1 fate

The Alpine and McLaren teams both have a claim on the Australian's services for 2023. They are obliged by the Concorde Agreement to abide by the decision of the CRB, and not pursue further legal action in attempt to get that ruling changed.

Formed in the wake of the controversy resulting from Michael Schumacher’s move from Jordan and Benetton and Roberto Moreno’s subsequent ousting from the latter, the CRB usually operates quietly in the background, only hitting the headlines when a high-profile dispute arises.

It is referenced in the FIA Sporting Regulations under Appendix 5, but that section is actually blank, with a note saying “reserved for the exclusive use of competitors entered in the FIA Formula One World Championship.”

The full details of how it operates are enshrined in the Concorde, and are thus not widely known, even within the F1 paddock.

The CRB exists independently of the FIA. Its role is to tell the governing body which team has a valid contract with a driver, and is entitled to hold a superlicence on their behalf.

Its day-to-day function is a repository for all F1 race, reserve and test driver contracts, or at least the key sections – teams aren’t necessarily obliged to submit all the paperwork, as full contracts are complex and cover marketing matters and so on.

When a dispute arises three lawyers convene and review the evidence from all parties. They are required supply an outcome within three days of the hearing.

Two of the most famous CRB cases saw a driver’s original team win, and the outfit hoping to poach him lose. That happened when David Coulthard tried to leave Williams for McLaren in 1995, and when Jenson Button wanted to move from BAR to Williams a decade later.

David Coulthard stuck with Williams for 1995, but moved to McLaren for the following year

David Coulthard stuck with Williams for 1995, but moved to McLaren for the following year

Photo by: Motorsport Images

One man who has experience of the CRB process – and who got the outcome that he wanted - is Timo Glock. In the days before video calls his hearing was conducted in person. As is often the case the dispute revolved around the details of an option.

"I was test driver BMW Sauber in 2007,” the German told Autosport. “And then I had the offer for a race seat at Toyota, and BMW had to take the option to put me into a race seat, which they didn't do. But they at that stage, they said they did.

“I cannot even remember how many guys they were sitting in the room, but there were lawyers involved who look on both sides. Everyone has to give his statement. BMW put their opinion on the table. And we had our opinion. And then they clearly make the decision.

"They decided there is no offer from BMW for a seat, I've got one from Toyota, and I'm free to go. It was a bit of an awkward situation, but we had to go there, because in our point of view and that of the CRB the situation was clear.

"They wanted to keep me as a reserve, but in the end there was anyway no race seat, they didn't take the option that they had on me. So it was pretty easy, and it was quickly done. I think on Monday maybe it takes a bit longer!"

Glock says it was a good process: "If you have problems like this, and you have a sort of a clear view from an outside lawyer or from the board, who clearly has no favour, and it just goes by the legal regulation, I think that's good to have. Otherwise, you would fight forever.

"It's going to be interesting how they decide on Piastri, and what sort of legal situation they are in. Every side has its own view."

Glock's move to Toyota resulted in a race seat for 2008

Glock's move to Toyota resulted in a race seat for 2008

Photo by: Sutton Images

Should Alpine win the CRB case it doesn’t necessarily mean that Piastri will actually race for the Enstone team in 2023. Given the animosity surrounding his attempts to move to McLaren it’s apparent that the relationship has soured so much that in effect forcing him to drive would make little sense for either side. In that case Alpine would have the option to name its price and sell him to McLaren.

However Alpine could in theory also entertain interest from other teams that might want to hire Piastri, or trade him with someone who has a contract elsewhere, such as Pierre Gasly.

If McLaren is not able to land Piastri, either via the CRB decision or a subsequent deal with Alpine, it will have to find someone else to replace Daniel Ricciardo.

If Alpine loses there is also the possibility that legal action could follow, although not in terms of pursuing its claim on his services. Team boss Otmar Szafnauer has indicated that Alpine would consider a damages claim in order to recoup the funds spent on his test programmes and so on.

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull: Eau Rouge compromises not lightweight chassis behind Belgian GP form
Previous article

Red Bull: Eau Rouge compromises not lightweight chassis behind Belgian GP form

Next article

KTM to incorporate Red Bull F1 engineers to its 2023 MotoGP team

KTM to incorporate Red Bull F1 engineers to its 2023 MotoGP team
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver Plus

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as OLEG KARPOV found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Plus

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022