McLaren boss Zak Brown defends Oscar Piastri after Alpine criticism

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McLaren Racing main Zak Brown has leapt to the defence of his F1 team’s caller driver, Oscar Piastri, successful effect to disapproval from the Australian’s erstwhile employers, Alpine.

During the summer, Alpine initially announced that Piastri, their reserve driver, would contention for the squad successful 2023. However, the Australian released a connection hours aboriginal that categorically denied this.

Piastri past agreed to a woody with McLaren for adjacent play – which Alpine contested. Unfortunately for the French team, though, a Contract Recognition Board ruled successful McLaren’s favour, and they had Piastri for 2023.

In response to losing their rising star, Alpine brag Otmar Szafnauer said that helium expected “more loyalty” from Oscar Piastri. Instead of him, Alpine picked up Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri.

Recently, Szafnauer aimed different jibe astatine Piastri by saying that Alpine had a “better” line-up for adjacent twelvemonth without him.

McLaren’s Zak Brown has weighed successful connected these comments, praising Oscar Piastri portion critiquing the Alpine boss.

“I’ve been precise impressed with however helium conducted himself implicit the summer,” said Brown, via BBC Sport. “I thought Otmar’s comments towards Oscar were precise unfair and not accurate. Especially having sat done the CRB and present I cognize precisely what happened.

“I thought the mode Otmar called his integrity into question was precise inaccurate and unfair. And Piastri was precise mature done the full process. For a 21-year-old having each that unit and spotlight, helium was not frazzled, kept his caput down.

“We’ve had him successful our (old) car. He did an fantabulous occupation and I deliberation he’s going to beryllium a aboriginal star.”

Away from defending his caller driver, the McLaren brag besides expressed excitement astatine his team’s line-up for 2023.

Zak Brown discusses Oscar Piastri-Lando Norris partnership

Brown had thing but positive words for Norris and Piastri, 1 of the younger pairings successful F1 for 2023.

“Lando [Norris] is 1 of the fastest drivers connected the grid and I expect helium and Oscar to beryllium close. I expect Oscar to person opportunities to bushed him and vice versa. But that’s evidently what you privation – 2 drivers close adjacent to each different and reversing the order.”

However, Zak Brown stopped abbreviated of mounting targets for Oscar Piastri conscionable yet.

“I don’t person immoderate expectations,” added Brown. “Nor person I acceptable retired ‘this is what Piastri needs to bash by this date’. But Lando is arsenic accelerated arsenic anyone successful F1 and successful race-winning equipment, helium would win. So, Oscar is going to person a teammate that’s 1 of the fastest drivers successful the world. But I afloat expect Oscar, successful time, to situation Lando.”

Lando Norris had an awesome 2022, consistently outperforming his car passim the season. He finished seventh wide successful the drivers’ standings – different known arsenic “the champion of the rest”.

Additionally, the McLaren ace captured one podium, astatine the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. His 3rd spot was the lone top-three decorativeness from a squad not called Ferrari, Red Bull, oregon Mercedes successful 2022.

Norris’ 122 title points yet helped McLaren unafraid fifth successful the constructors’ championship. In contrast, teammate Daniel Ricciardo got conscionable 37 points. He is nary longer astatine McLaren arsenic a effect – but is inactive successful the F1 world.

Daniel Ricciardo is Red Bull 3rd operator for 2023

Daniel Ricciardo is returning to reigning constructors’ champions Red Bull arsenic a back-up operator adjacent year.

“I’m genuinely excited to beryllium coming backmost location to Oracle Red Bull Racing arsenic their 3rd operator successful 2023,” said the Australian, via Sky Sports. “For me, the quality to lend to and beryllium surrounded by the champion squad successful F1 is hugely appealing. It volition besides springiness maine immoderate clip to recharge and refocus.”

Ricciardo has taken this accidental with Red Bull for 1 year, with a presumption to re-joining the grid successful 2024. But the erstwhile McLaren racer has not ruled retired leaving F1 altogether aft this “third driver” deal. He commented connected this astatine the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP.

“It [the interruption from racing] volition either substance the occurrence and marque maine bare and much motivated than ever. Or, it volition beryllium like, ‘oh, this [not racing] is the close happening for you’. In that case… past I indispensable beryllium truly happy.”

Featured representation credit: Getty

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