Following weeks of uncertainty about where Piastri would be racing in 2023 amid a contract dispute with Alpine, the young Australian’s fate was finally settled on Friday by F1’s Contract Recognition Board.
It ruled that a deal that Piastri signed with McLaren on July 4, the day after the British Grand Prix, was the only one that was valid for a superlicence.
Piastri is now committed to McLaren for the next two seasons at least, and will line-up alongside Lando Norris.
Speaking to Sky in the wake of the confirmation of its 2023 driver line-up, Seidl said the combination of Piastri’s speed and personality made him a no-brainer for McLaren to pursue.
“We are super happy to know that we have Oscar with us next year, together with Lando,” explained Seidl. “A very exciting driver line-up.
“There’s two reasons why we wanted to have Oscar. I think he has shown in the junior categories that he is something very special and has a lot of potential, plus I think also in terms of personality, I think he is a perfect fit into our team. That should be the main focus of the news.”
He added: “We are absolutely convinced about his talent and about his potential as well. Oscar as well a bit, he’s young, he’s full of energy, he has the right amount of self-confidence as well, but at the same time he’s very humble and he’s aware of how big the challenge is next year.
“I think we are a team that’s shown in the past we can do very well and handle very well young guys coming into the sport, and therefore I’m looking forward to get going with him next year.”
Piastri took to social media on Friday to post a video explaining how thrilled he was to be making the step up to F1 finally.
“I am super excited to be joining the grid and with such a prestigious team like McLaren,” he said. “I have no doubt it’s a great place to start my career.
“It’s been a long road until this point. I’ve been racing for 12 years and this was my dream from the very beginning. So I just wanted to thank everyone who’s supported me throughout my journey including my colleagues at Alpine for the past few years and also my family in particular who have made a significant contribution to supporting my career from the very beginning.
“I can’t wait to be representing papaya. I’ll be doing my best to drive as quickly as possible and get some good results. So looking forward to working with the team, working alongside Lando, and can’t wait to see you all soon. Thank you.”
Seidl said that the CRB involvement had been an unnecessary distraction because McLaren had never had doubts that its contract with Piastri was valid.
“In terms of a Contract Recognition Board, for us that was never a case,” he said.
“Therefore I guess it’s better you ask the other party involved why they thought they have a case, and therefore this is not really any surprise for us.
“It’s important now we can look to the future, it’s important now to focus at the same time on the final eight races of the season together with Daniel and Lando. We want to finish this season in a good fight with the Alpines and then we focus on next year.”