Lawyer in Piastri contract saga leaves Alpine
By Mat Coch
Friday 25th November, 2022 - 11:41am
The lawyer at the heart of Oscar Piastri’s contract saga has been relieved of their duties at the Alpine Formula 1 team.
Companies House records show the Enstone squad’s Director of Legal Affairs, Benedicte Mercer, left the organisation on November 8.
Mercer played a significant role in the Piastri contract saga where she was in charge of drawing up the contract between Alpine and its young Australian driver.
As Director of Legal Affairs, it was also her responsibility to ensure those agreements were submitted to the appropriate bodies.
However, the Contract Recognition Board’s unanimous decision in favour of McLaren highlighted how deadlines were routinely missed and promises broken, evidenced by a string of email exchanges between her and Mark Webber, Piastri’s manager.
Indeed, the ‘contract’ that was submitted to the CRB was in fact a ‘2020/2023 Terms Sheet’, which also noted ‘Subject to Contract’.
The submission of the ‘Terms Sheet’ was a direct result of Alpine running out of time to complete and submit the necessary documents to ensure Piastri’s Super Licence for 2022.
Without it, Piastri would have been unable to function as a Reserve Driver.
In the days prior to the start of the season, Mercer submitted the Terms Sheet which, during the CRB, Alpine claimed was a legally binding contract.
The CRB decision noted that no Reserve Driver agreement was never signed by Alpine and Piastri.
The messy affair became public when Alpine announce Piastri as its race driver in the days following Alonso’s decision to join Aston Martin for 2023.
In the hours that followed, Piastri took to social media stating that he would not drive for Alpine in 2023.
The matter was finally resolved in the days prior to the Dutch Grand Prix with the CRB finding unanimously in favour of McLaren.
Now, in the lead-up to the final two grand prix of the 2022 season, Mercer has left the organisation.