Brown: Szafnauer must be a bit stupid after Piastri’s comments

Brown: Szafnauer must be a bit stupid after Piastri’s comments


Piastri will finally race for McLaren next season, replacing Daniel Ricciardo. The issue of his transfer, however, was not as clear and open as it might seem.

The Australian has been a graduate of Alpine’s youth development program for years and it is the team that relied on his involvement after the decision of Fernando Alonso, who announced his switch to Aston Martin immediately after the summer break.

Alpine almost immediately announced the appointment of Piastri in his place, but the driver responded with a clear denial of these reports on his social channel, sparking a wave of controversy and speculation throughout the paddock.

The case had to be concluded before the FIA’s Contractual Disputes Committee appointed for this purpose. While waiting for his decision, many words were also expressed displeasure with Piastri’s approach to Alpine representatives. Otmar Szafnauer claimed that the young player lacked “loyalty”.

Alpine believed until the end that he had all the rights to the services of his student, given that for many years he had invested a large amount of money in his development. However, the CRB decision left no doubt that the only significant contract the driver has for the 2023 season is the one signed on July 4 with McLaren. The legal department of the Enstone team mocked it and put the whole team in a bad situation, without getting the services of the driver, in which millions of dollars had been invested, and the proper contracts.

McLaren CEO Zak Brown believes his team did the right thing by not engaging in a verbal spat with Alpine through the media, unlike Alpine’s leaders.

“Before the CRB decision, they didn’t know a lot of things, and we didn’t comment on it on purpose,” said Brown during the IndyCar round at Laguna Seca. “The judgment revealed some things, I think it was clear what happened there, we knew there would be many announcements about the case, but we also knew that the truth would be seen and become ours, because. contrary to our frequent opinions.”

“We were not aware of this at the time and some direct information from the fans. But now we are happy with the CRB’s decision as it is very clear.”

Brown says that the decision to keep his teeth open about the Piastri issue was not due to such a dispute but the eventual loss of a dispute over his team in IndyCar over the services of Alex Palou.

Although McLaren announced the player for the 2023 season, he had to announce on Wednesday that he will stay with the Ganassi team, and with McLaren he will only have an F1 test contract.

Brown says that the cases of Piastri and Palou “are two completely different topics that unfortunately coincide at the same time.”

“It was a high-profile topic, but we didn’t talk about it here either,” he said. “It’s better to let the situation develop and comment on it later. If we look at Otmar’s comments now, he was commenting on everything and he was almost sure of it, and now he must be a little stupid.”

“That’s why I think it’s better to keep your mouth shut and comment on events when you can say something specific.”