• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Oscar Piastri to join F1 with McLaren in 2023

ByBrenden Martin

Sep 2, 2022
Oscar Piastri Formula 1

Photo courtesy of BTW Alpine F1 Team

McLaren Formula 1 has announced that it has signed 2021 Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri to a multi-year deal and will join Lando Norris starting in 2023.

The FIA’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB) ruled that the deal with McLaren was valid for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

“I am super excited to be joining the grid with such a prestigious team like McLaren,” Piastri said in a video he posted on social media. “I have no doubt it’s a great place to start my career.”

Piastri’s announcement comes in the wake of numerous moves teams have made to set up its team for 2023 and beyond. The first was the signing of two-time world champion and current Alpine driver Fernando Alonso to a multi-year contract with Aston Martin to replace four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who is retiring at the end of the 2022 season.

Vettel’s decision to retire was the first domino to fall in the movement of driver seats. Aston Martin’s move to secure Alonso pointed to Piastri being the next driver in line to get an opportunity in Formula 1.

Piastri had spent the last four years as a reserve driver for BTW Alpine and was in line to take Alonso’s spot. On Aug 2, Alpine announced Piastri would be promoted to the French team’s Formula 1 duo alongside Estaban Ocon.

However, Piastri released a statement minutes after saying he had not agreed to a deal with Alpine and would not race with the team next year.

The announcement shocked the Formula 1 world, but pieces started to fall in place when current McLaren F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo announced 2022 would be his last year with the team despite having one more year in his contract.

“Obviously we put a lot of effort on both sides but it just hasn’t worked the way we wanted,” Ricciardo said on social media, “The team has decided to make a change for next year.”

Alpine has yet to respond to his sudden announcement that contradicted the team’s initial announcement. In the four years Piastri has spent as an Alpine reserve driver, he climbed the ranks of open-wheel racing.

Piastri won the Formula 3 championship in 2020, winning two races and scoring 164 points to beat out Théo Pourchaire by three points.

The 21-year-old from Australia ensured his high-ranking status in 2021 by winning the Formula 2 world championship in his rookie season, defeating 2019 Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman by 60.5 points.

Piastri will make his Formula 1 debut with McLaren in the 2023 opener at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

A start time and date for next year’s season opener have not been announced.