Australian Oscar Piastri says a lack of clarity and a “break in trust” with Renault-owned Alpine played a part in his decision to join Formula 1 rival McLaren. McLaren confirmed on Friday during the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, after winning a contract dispute, which the 21-year-old Alpine reserve rider would race for them next season.
“I felt McLaren was a great opportunity. They were very direct and very keen and enthusiastic to have me,” he told www.formula1.com in an interview published on Saturday. “To be completely honest, there was a lack of clarity around my future in the Alpine team.
Piastri won the Formula 2 title last year, having won Formula 3 the previous season, but his progress came to a halt without an available seat in Formula 1. He spent that year at Alpine, who had developed a intense preparation program, but the future was uncertain, with the team discussing a contract extension with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.
Alonso, who wanted a two-year deal, last month announced his departure to Aston Martin at the end of the season. But Piastri had already signed for McLaren by then, signing a deal on July 4. all the reasons why I felt McLaren was where I was best placed,” said Piastri.
Alpine announced in a statement in August that Piastri would race for them, but the Australian later posted a message on social media to rule him out. He told the website he was disappointed with Alpine’s handling of the situation and said his management had informed the team twice before that he would be leaving.
“It was quite upsetting as the announcement was fake and it also deprived me of the opportunity to say goodbye properly to everyone at Enstone,” he said. Alpine manager Otmar Szafnauer says the team delivered on everything promised in a deal and showed loyalty to the youngster.
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