CRB clears Piastri to join McLaren for 2023

Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri will race for McLaren Racing in the 2023 Formula 1 world championship following the outcome of a Contract Recognition Board hearing.

The CRB, a facility of the FIA, deemed it is McLaren and not Alpine which holds a valid Formula 1 contract with Piastri.

The CRB met on Monday before announcing its findings today.

“A Tribunal appointed by the Contract Recognition Board held a meeting on 29 August 2022 when counsel for Alpine Racing Limited, McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Oscar Piastri were heard,” a statement from the CRB announced.

“The Tribunal has issued a Unanimous Decision that the only Contract to be recognised by the Board is the Contract between McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Piastri dated 4 July 2022.

“Mr Piastri is entitled to drive for McLaren Racing Limited for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.”

Piastri’s future has been under something of a cloud since he was announced as the replacement for Fernando Alonso at Alpine for 2023.

The Australian responded soon after by posting on social media that he would not be racing for the squad.

It’s understood he signed a contract with McLaren for next season, taking the drive set to be vacated by Daniel Ricciardo, though that went without confirmation until today.

With Alpine and McLaren claiming to hold contracts, the matter was discussed by the Contract Recognition Board.

The CRB is noted in the Concorde Agreement as the dispute resolution body for all Formula 1 driver contracts.

Its purpose is to keep a record of contracts and, where a dispute arises, mediate that process in a faster and cheaper manner than through the traditional legal system.

Alpine argued that Piastri signed a contract with it in November last year that, according to Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer, runs until at least the end of 2023, with options beyond.

That contract is understood not to have been submitted to the CRB, as is usual practice, as it did not pertain specifically to Formula 1.

Instead, it appears to have been an Academy contract with options therein that afforded Alpine the right to promote him should it choose.

Despite reports elsewhere, there was, according to Szafnauer, no date by which they needed to be exercised.

McLaren, meanwhile, is believed to have submitted its contract around the Hungarian Grand Prix.

On the Wednesday prior to the Belgian Grand Prix it announced it had “mutually agreed” to the early termination of Ricciardo’s contract for 2023.

That cleared the way for Piastri to join the team, pending the outcome of the CRB.

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