McLaren not surprised about Piastri saga outcome
"To be honest, there was never a case in our opinion"
Andreas Seidl says he isn’t surprised that the FIA’s contract recognition board (CEB) sided with McLaren over the Oscar Piastri affair.
After a week’s delay, the CRB declared late on Friday that Australian Piastri’s "only" valid contract is the one he signed in July with the Woking based team.
McLaren promptly confirmed the 21-year-old’s multi-year deal, while Alpine - reportedly ordered to pay hundreds of thousands in legal fees - acknowledged the decision.
"We consider the matter closed on our side and will announce our full 2023 driver lineup in due course," said the Renault-owned team.
Seidl isn’t sure why Alpine even pursued the case, after Piastri turned down the team’s announcement that he would be Esteban Ocon’s teammate in 2023.
"To be honest, there was never a case in our opinion," the McLaren boss said.
"It’s best to ask the other party why they thought they had a case, but it wasn’t a big deal to us."
Seidl also rejected Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer’s claim that the saga puts a cloud of questionable integrity over Piastri’s forthcoming F1 debut.
"I don’t think it’s up to us to say anything about that," he said.
"For us it was pretty easy - to get a driver to compete in Formula 1, you need two things: a contract and registration with the CRB. We did that in July, so our plan was clear from the start."
But Formula 3 driver Juan Manuel Correa, who says he knows Piastri well, also sided with the reigning F2 champion and McLaren over the saga.
"From my point of view, I think it is actually Alpine’s fault. They played a little with Oscar and Fernando (Alonso)," he said.
"With Oscar, they didn’t give him what they promised and I think any driver in his position would have done what he did. It was a shame that he didn’t get a seat already this year."
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