McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown says his team now has a driver pairing “with a huge amount of potential” after confirming Oscar Piastri alongside Lando Norris for 2023.
The FIA’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB) has sided with McLaren in a contractual dispute against Alpine regarding Piastri’s future, confirming that the Australian is obliged to drive for McLaren in 2023 and ’24. Having dropped Daniel Ricciardo to give Piastri a race seat, Brown says it’s a move looking towards the future.
“Oscar is one of the up-and-coming talents coming through the feeder series into F1 and we are delighted to see him join the team for 2023,” Brown said. “Winning both F3 and F2 in successive rookie seasons is a real achievement and testament to his talent in single-seater racing.
“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. Oscar is an exciting addition to the McLaren family, and we look forward to seeing him grow with our F1 team.”
Speaking publicly for the first time since refuting Alpine’s announcement that he would for the team in 2023, Piastri said he was eager to get started with McLaren after facing a long wait to have his future confirmed.
“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 to push the team towards the front of the grid. I’m focused on preparing for my F1 debut in 2023 and starting my F1 career in papaya.”
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl suggested preparations for Piastri’s arrival will start after the season ends, as he’s still contracted to Alpine until the end of 2022.
“The entire team is delighted to welcome Oscar to McLaren for the 2023 F1 season,” Seidl said. “He has an impressive racing career to date, and we are sure that together with Lando, he will be able to help us move another step forward towards our ambitions.
“We still have an important job to do this season which the team remains focused on, before we will then ensure Oscar is integrated into the team as quickly as possible and ready for the challenges ahead. We look forward to preparing for an exciting 2023 season together.”