McLaren hits back at Alpine’s Piastri lack of integrity claim

McLaren chief Zak Brown has hit back at Otmar Szafnauer’s claim that Oscar Piastri has shown a lack of integrity in the ongoing Formula 1 contract saga.

McLaren hits back at Alpine’s Piastri lack of integrity claim

Reigning F2 champion Piastri finds himself at the centre of a dispute over his future. Alpine claims it has a contract in place for him to race in F1 next year, but Piastri has denied signing a deal and said he will not drive for the team in 2023 as McLaren lines him up to replace Daniel Ricciardo.

Piastri’s possible exit has been met dimly by Alpine F1 team principal Szafnauer, who said in an interview on Friday at Spa that he wished the young Australian "had a bit more integrity” after Alpine supported his junior career.

Szafnauer’s comments were put to McLaren Racing CEO Brown, who hit back by questioning if Szafnauer was in a position to make such a comment.

“Ultimately I don’t know any of the details between that relationship, so I think it would be unfair for me to take a position either way because I simply don’t know,” Brown said in an interview on Sky Sports.

“But judging by recent times, the way Fernando [Alonso] has departed and caught Otmar by surprise, and not too long ago he is the recipient of a €400,000 fine and 15 points [fined], I’m not sure he comes with the highest level of credibility and making accusations around ethics.”

Brown was referring to the brake duct saga that embroiled Szafnauer’s Racing Point team at the start of the 2020 season, when the team was found to have used an illegal design process. It resulted in a 15-point constructors’ championship penalty and a €400,000 fine from the FIA.

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, Pat Fry

Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal, Alpine F1, Pat Fry

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

Outgoing Alpine driver Alonso also revealed on Thursday at Spa that Szafnauer had no involvement in talks over a new contract and was therefore not informed of his move to Aston Martin until the public press release was issued.

Read Also:

It is not the first time Szafnauer and Brown have been engaged in a war of words. Amid the brake duct saga in 2020, Szafnauer claimed Brown had “no idea what he's talking about" and “knows more about historic racing than he does about F1".

F1’s Contract Recognition Board is set to make a decision on the case between Alpine and Piastri on Monday.

shares
comments
F1 bullish it can escape previous ‘boom and bust’ cycles
Previous article

F1 bullish it can escape previous ‘boom and bust’ cycles

Next article

Which teams adapted best to F1's new 2022 rules?

Which teams adapted best to F1's new 2022 rules?
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022