McLaren and Alpine have reached agreements to ensure their new drivers for next season can have their first runs with them before the year is over.Oscar Piastri and Pierre Gasly will drive for McLaren and Alpine respectively in the post-season test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.
The two teams were involved in a dispute over Piastri’s services which was resolved in McLaren’s favour earlier this year. Team principal Andreas Seidl confirmed they have now reached terms under which Piastri will join the team between the season finale and end-of-year test. He has already conducted a run in one of the team’s old cars at Paul Ricard in France.
“We reached a settlement agreement with all parties involved which enabled us to put Oscar in an old car last week in Paul Ricard and do a private test,” said Seidl. “This will enable us as well to then officially start working with Oscar on Monday after the last race in Abu Dhabi, which enables us then as well to put him in the car, in the current car, at the young driver test in Abu Dhabi, which is something we are very much looking forward to, which is great for us and for Oscar.”
Seidl said it is too early to draw any conclusions about Piastri’s potential based on his first run for the team.
“Running an old car alone on a track there’s not too much to read into it,” he said. “In the end, it was a good start from Oscar together with us and that’s pretty much it for the moment.”
Alpine originally announced Piastri as its replacement for Fernando Alonso next year, but was stunned to discover its reserve driver had signed to race for McLaren. They have instead hired Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri, who will drive for them in ther Yas Marina test.
“The season’s nearly at the end and it was time to come to an agreement and we did and we’re happy that Oscar can start his McLaren career after the last race in Abu Dhabi and do the test,” said Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer.
“We will be doing the same with Pierre, we will be putting Pierre in the car in Abu Dhabi and we’ll get working on our driver pairing, get his feedback and get his initial thoughts on our car this year and start to understand the things he likes and dislikes and hopefully be able to make some changes on next year’s car too with Pierre’s input in mind.”
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