Oscar Piastri will drive for McLaren Racing in 2023 after contract board rules against Alpine

Oscar Piastri McLaren
Clive Mason/Getty Images
3 Comments

Oscar Piastri will join McLaren on a multiyear deal in 2023 after Formula One’s contract board ruled in his favor and against Alpine on Friday.

Alpine was in dispute with Piastri – the team’s reserve driver – after he said he didn’t want the promotion to the Alpine seat vacated by Fernando Alonso for next year.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer wanted to retain the 21-year-old Australian driver.

The matter went before F1’s Contract Recognition Board this week, and the four-person tribunal ruled that McLaren had an existing contract in place.

“The only contract to be recognized by the board is the contract between McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Piastri dated 4 July 2022,” governing body FIA said in a statement. “Mr. Piastri is entitled to drive for McLaren Racing Limited for the 2023 and 2024 seasons.”

Piastri won the F2 title last year.

“I’m extremely excited to be making my F1 debut with such a prestigious team as McLaren and I’m very grateful for the opportunity that’s been offered to me,” Piastri said. “The team has a long tradition of giving young talent a chance, and I’m looking forward to working hard alongside Lando (Norris) to push the team towards the front of the grid.”

McLaren CEO Zak Brown called Piastri “one of the up-and-coming talents” and said he can succeed alongside the British driver Norris, who has six career podiums in F1.

“In Lando and Oscar we have a young, exciting F1 lineup with a huge amount of potential, standing us in good stead to achieve our future ambitions,” Brown said. “Oscar is an exciting addition to the McLaren family, and we look forward to seeing him grow with our F1 team.”

Alpine said it accepted the ruling, which leaves it with a vacant seat next year.

French driver Pierre Gasly, who drives for AlphaTauri, has been linked to the seat. So has Daniel Ricciardo, who is splitting with McLaren at the end of this year.

“We consider the matter closed on our side and will announce our full 2023 driver lineup in due course,” Alpine said in a statement. “Our immediate focus is the Dutch Grand Prix and securing points in our fight for fourth in the constructors’ championship.”

Alonso is driving for Aston Martin next year as a replacement for four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, who is retiring.

McLaren Racing also fields a team in the NTT IndyCar Seres, where it also has F1 testing contracts with Colton Herta and Alex Palou, who is in a contract dispute with Chip Ganassi Racing that is similar to Piastri’s situation after announcing he’d signed with McLaren in July.

2023 MotoGP schedule announced, highlighted by trips to India and Kazakhstan

2023 MotoGP schedule
Hasan Bratic / Getty Images
0 Comments

A new opening venue and the addition of two Grands Prix in India and Kazakhstan will highlight the 2023 MotoGP schedule.

The 2023 MotoGP season will kick off March 24th with the opening round in Portugal instead of the typical trip to Qatar. Work on the Losail International Circuit pushed their date back to the penultimate weekend after the series finishes a series of races around the Pacific Rim.

Following Portugal, MotoGP heads to Argentina and the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for their only visit to the United States before heading back to Europe for most of the next 10 rounds.

Interrupting the long European stint will be the series’ first visit to the Sokol International Circuit in Kazakhstan on July 7, 2023. The traditional summer break will be three weeks and then MotoGP heads to England for the British GP in August.

After three more European rounds at Austria, Catalunya and San Marino, the second new date on the calendar will come on the 16-turn, Buddh International Circuit for a September 24 race date. Both the India and Kazakhstan races are subject to homologation and approval by the circuit.

The next six races will be held in Asia and Oceania before Qatar and Valencia close out the schedule.

“We’re very proud to announce that Buddh International Circuit will be on the 2023 calendar,” said Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna, which manages the series. “We have a lot of fans in India and we’re excited to be able to bring the sport to them.

“India is also a key market for the motorcycle industry and therefore, by extension, for MotoGP as the pinnacle of the two-wheeled world. We very much look forward to racing at Buddh International Circuit and can’t wait to welcome the fans through the gates to see this incredible sport in person.”

One of two new races announced for 2022, in Finland, did not materialize this season and has not been added to the 2023 MotoGP schedule. In addition, the Aragon GP has been removed to keep the rounds at 21.

2023 Provisional Schedule

Portugal GP, Algarve, March 26
Argentina GP, Termas de Río Hondo, April 2
American GP, Circuit of the Americas, April 16
Spanish GP, Jerez, April 30
French GP, Le Mans, May 14
Italian GP, Mugello, June 11
German GP, Sachsenring, June 18
Dutch GP, Assen, June 25
Kazakhstan GP, Sokol, July 9 *
British GP, Silverstone, August 6
Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring, August 20
Catalan GP, Catalunya, September 3
San Marino GP, Misano, September 10
Indian GP, Buddh, September 24 *
Japanese GP, Motegi, October 1
Indonesia GP, Mandalika Street Circuit, October 15
Australian GP, Philip Island, October 22
Thailand GP, Chang International Circuit, October 29
Malaysian GP, Sepang, November 12
Qatar GP, Losail International Circuit, November 19
Valencia GP, Ricardo Tormo, November 26

* subject to approval