After the Piastri affair, McLaren gives a strong comment on Alpine in the press. Over the last few weeks, the Oscar Piastri case has caused a lot of noise in Formula 1. The FIA’s CRB finally ruled in favour of Mclaren and the Australian will be alongside Lando Norris next season. The occasion for Zak Brown to send a little slap to the team manager at Alpine, Otmar Szafnauer, by effectively calling him a bit of an idiot.
After several weeks of waiting, the verdict finally arrived a few days ago. Oscar Piastri, trained at Alpine, but will join McLaren next season. The young Australian will replace his compatriot Daniel Ricciardo in 2023, alongside Lando Norris. The FIA’s CRB (Contract Recognition Board) has ruled in favour of the British team, while Alpine wanted to make Oscar Piastri the successor to Fernando Alonso. The French team had long thought it would win the case.
Otmar Szafnauer tried to convince the team that it was within its rights. According to McLaren boss Zak Brown, Alpine’s team boss was “a bit of an idiot” in his statements.
“He was very vocal, but we really didn’t comment on it.” said Brown,
“I think it was better to let things play out and give a bit of a statement afterwards. If you look at all of Otmar’s comments, he was giving a little insight into what CRB would say and his confidence, and now I think he looks a bit silly frankly,
“That’s why it’s better to keep quiet, and we can talk about it afterwards when there’s something concrete to say,” he said.
Zak Brown continued, “Before people saw the CRB decision, they didn’t know, and we deliberately kept our mouths shut. Now that the decision has been made in detail, it is clear what happened,
“We saw that there was a lot of noise and posturing on Otmar’s side, but we knew that the truth would come out eventually, and we just needed to see it come out rather than make comments,
“I wasn’t unaware of the fuss Otmar made in August and some of the messages I got from fans.”
In an interview with L’Équipe, Laurent Rossi had reacted to the matter, confiding in particular that “the idea from the start was to keep Fernando for two years and place Oscar Piastri.”
He also admitted that mistakes had been made “on the contracts by leaving some doors open”.
“We didn’t tie his wrists. We really didn’t think he would leave. Nobody does that. We didn’t make mistakes about our loyalty. We didn’t get paid back,
“Piastri is not leaving because of a signed contract or not, because he had a contract to go to Williams as a starter in 2023. He refused it. It’s easy to say he didn’t have one…,
“It’s easy to refer to missing paragraphs or forms, as he arrived with a contract signed at McLaren before the CRB (Contract Recognition Board) and refused to sign ours. And then beyond everything, how do you block a driver who doesn’t want to stay with you?”