Oscar Piastri WILL replace Daniel Ricciardo in Formula One next season

Oscar Piastri WILL replace Daniel Ricciardo in Formula One next season after McLaren confirm they have won their legal dispute with Alpine to sign young Aussie star

  • McLaren confirm Oscar Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo for 2023 season
  • The young Australian has won F2 and F3 titles over the last two seasons 
  • Piastri is Alpine’s reserve driver and the team wanted to promote him in 2023 
  • Ricciardo will leave McLaren two seasons into his three-year deal 

Oscar Piastri will make his Formula One debut next season, with the 21-year-old set to replace fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren.

A world champion in Formula 2 and Formula 3 over the past two seasons, Piastri has long been considered one of Formula One’s rising stars and has spent the current season as Alpine’s reserve drive.

The Aussie had long been linked with McLaren, with rumours only intensifying given the uncertainty over Ricciardo’s future with the Woking team following a difficult season.

Oscar Piastri will replace Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren next season

McLaren officially kicked off the search for a replacement late last week, when they announced they had agreed to part ways with Ricciardo at the end of the season, despite the 32-year-old having another year left on his deal.

‘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 on Friday.

‘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.

‘I’m focused on preparing for my F1 debut in 2023 and starting my F1 career in papaya.’ 

Ricciardo agreed to leave McLaren at the end of the season, a year earlier than expected

McLaren boss Zak Brown said: ‘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.

‘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 line-up with a huge amount of potential, standing us in good stead to achieve our future ambitions.’

Managed by fellow Australian and former F1 star Mark Webber, Piastri signed for Alpine’s academy in 2020 and immediately made waves in the junior series.

McLaren boss Zak Brown said he was ‘delighted’ to welcome Piastri to the team 

Last year, Piastri became only the sixth driver after Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hulkenberg, Charles Leclerc and George Russell to win the Formula 2 title in his debut season.

Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Leclerc and Russell are the only drivers along with the young Australian to win the Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles in consecutive seasons.

The relationship between Alpine and Piastri, however, soured earlier this month when the French team announced the Australian had been promoted from reserve driver to partner Esteban Ocon and replace the Aston Martin-bound Fernando Alonso from next season.

Piastri, however, swiftly denied any agreement had been reached, leaving Alpine with a seat to fill for 2023 and to pick up the piece of an embarrassing PR own goal.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer questioned the young Aussie’s integrity last week

That led to a well-publicised legal dispute, with Alpine insisting Piastri was under contract with the team through the 2023 season.

The driver steadfastly rejected the claim, which would have complicated a potential switch to McLaren.

Last week, Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer accused Piastri of ‘lacking integrity’ as rumours linking Piastri with McLaren continued. 

Piastri won the Formula 2 world title at the first time of asking, winning six races overall 

‘My wish for Oscar was that he had a bit more integrity,’ Szafnauer told NewsCorp on Saturday on the eve of the Belgian Grand Prix.

‘He signed a bit of paper back in November and we’ve done everything on our end of the bargain to prepare him for F1 and his end of that was to either drive for us or take a seat where we would place him for the next three years.’ 

This week, however, the International Motoring Federation (FIA) contract recognition board (CRB) ruled in favour of the Australian in the dispute.

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