Oscar Piastri in the McLaren garage. Abu Dhabi November 2022.

Zak Brown criticizes Alpine’s “very unpleasant statements” in the Oscar Piastri saga

Zak Brown has hailed Oscar Piastri’s maturity following “very nasty” remarks by Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer as the two team bosses battled for his 2023 signature.

The young Australian’s arrival in Formula 1 this season generated perhaps the biggest driver change of last season, with ‘parent’ team Alpine announcing the 2021 Formula 2 champion as a replacement for Fernando Alonso after the Spaniard has confirmed his departure for Aston Martin. .

But it later emerged that the former Alpine junior had already signed a contract with McLaren to replace struggling Daniel Ricciardo several weeks earlier, with the two teams then battling it out in court before the contract recognition committee of the FIA ​​- the CRB finally finding at McLaren. service.

Piastri claimed he spoke to Alpine “several times” last summer about his plans for 2023, even before Alpine announced him as a race driver alongside Esteban Ocon.

Szafnauer countered the young Australian’s version of eventsbut the 21-year-old rookie will nonetheless play a role in Formula 1 – although his journey to becoming a driver at the top level of motorsport was highly unusual.

McLaren CEO Brown has praised Piastri for how he handled the furor surrounding his future at the time, even in the face of what he saw as ‘inaccurate’ comments and accusations from his alumni employers.

“Very focused, very mature, determined, doesn’t seem to have a lot of emotional ups and downs,” Brown told Speedcafe. KTM summer grill show when asked about his first impressions of Piastri as a person.

“And I’ve seen a lot of that through the turmoil of the summer. You know, he’s 21 and here you have a big OEM [Original Equipment Manufacturer]was making charges and taking you to court, and then you have to be a tough enough character at 21 to not be fazed by that, and he was, and he kept his head down, and I think he’ll let his conduct do the talking.

“He didn’t get into a war of words, even though Otmar made some very nasty and inaccurate statements. You know, Oscar didn’t live up to that.

“So what I see is a very focused, determined and mature 21-year-old. That’s what I see out of the car, and in the car you see the same thing and you see that he is very fast.

Read more: 10 exciting scenarios ahead of the new 2023 F1 season

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