Alpine are the big losers in the Oscar Piastri affair, losing out on a possible great talent, but McLaren should be careful as well as Nico Rosberg warned that Lando Norris could spoil the rookie’s Formula 1 adventure next year.
By losing the decision on the FIA Contract Recognition Board (CRB) Alpine will see their protégé Piastri move to McLaren next year, and will also foot the hefty bill that entailed getting the matter to arbitration.
Close to half a million euros, fees for the various parties and arbitrators, will also have to be covered by Alpine, whose competence in the matter has been questioned, and of course, ridiculed on social media.
Adding his opinion on Sky F1, 2016 F1 World Champion, Rosberg said of Piastrigate: “It’s really unbelievable for such a high-profile team to manage it so badly, investing so many millions into Piastri’s career just to have him not locked into a contract and for him to go away with an offer from McLaren. That’s really really tough.”
Piastri is managed by former F1 driver Mark Webber, he fellow Australian motorsport veteran, who drove for Porsche Andreas Seidl was boss at Stuttgart; also well connected to various powerbrokers in the sport.
Rosberg acknowledged: “For Piastri’s management, great job to get a seat at McLaren, that’s amazing. Nevertheless, it is going to be tough for Oscar to do well there.
“Lando Norris is world-class, he’s world championship material there so it’s not going to be easy to go there and do better than Daniel Ricciardo at the moment. That still remains to be seen,” pointed out Rosberg.
Jenson Button also weighed in on the affair: “Obviously we don’t have the contracts in front of us so we don’t know why it went in this direction but it is nice to have it all behind us.
“It is a bitter pill to swallow I am sure for Alpine but it has given them the opportunity for another great driver in their team. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way but you benefit out of it and I think Alpine might do next year.”
Also adding his opinion, Karun Chandhok raised the question: “The bigger thing I think is how much Alpine have been caught off guard by Fernando leaving and Piastri leaving?
It does seem to have caught them off guard on both accounts. So questions need to be asked how they have ended up in this situation.”
Alpine will decide on Monday whether to release Paistri to McLaren early, if so the 21-year-old Australian could even be in action at Monza in FP1 next Friday, with Ricciardo – departing the team with a golden handshake at the end of the season – sitting it out.
Probably a good idea to give Piastri a run in all the remaining races possible to best prep him for the deep end next year, alongside precocious Lando Norris whose first order of business, from day one together, will be to demolish the New Kid, Oscar as he did with the Old Kid, Dan. Watch this space!
— Fritz-Dieter Rencken (@RacingLines) September 2, 2022