McLaren is right
Alpine and McLaren were both convinced they were entitled to Piastri's services in 2023. Alpine was very vocal prior to the Contract Recognition Board's decision. There was a lot of criticism of Piastri, but despite the whole affair, Alpine felt it was in a strong position.
However, there was no contract with Piastri at all and the damages Otmar Szafnauer wanted to claim from Piastri will not be paid either. Alpine simply did not have things in order themselves. McLaren, it now appears, remained deliberately silent prior to the decision of the CRB. Brown knew that his team had a good case and thought it was better to let themselves be heard afterwards.
A slap on the wrist for Alpine
At NBC Sports, he is now giving Szafnauer a slap on the wrist. ''If you look at all of the comments by Otmar he was giving a little play-by-play of the CRB and how confident they were, and now I think he looks a little silly. That’s why it’s best to keep your mouth shut, and we can talk about it after the fact when there’s something concrete to say,'' Brown said.
Alpine now has to rush to find a replacement for Piastri, after the Australian was actually already replacing the unexpectedly departing Fernando Alonso. Pierre Gasly is reportedly in first place, but he has yet to be released at AlphaTauri. Nico Hulkenberg, Jack Doohan and Nyck de Vries are also candidates.