Oscar Piastri will compete on level terms on the track with one of the top drivers in F1 when he joins McLaren next season.
Piastri will replace fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo at the Woking squad for 2023 after McLaren won their contract dispute with Alpine for the 21-year-old’s services.
Alpine had wanted to promote their reserve driver to a race seat following Fernando Alonso’s decision to sign for Aston Martin. But by that point, Piastri already had a valid contract with McLaren, as demonstrated by F1’s Contract Recognition Board (CRB) during the summer break.
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McLaren had decided to end Ricciardo’s three-year deal a season early following a hugely disappointing spell for the 33-year-old since his arrival from Renault (now Alpine).
Piastri arrives at McLaren with a big reputation having won the Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles in consecutive seasons, but he will have one of the toughest teammates on the grid in Lando Norris, who has blown Ricciardo away over the last two years.
Despite Norris being the incumbent driver, Piastri can expect equal status with his teammate on race days. However, that won’t be the case in the financial stakes, at least in his first season in F1.
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According to Australian title the Herald Sun, Piastri will make about £466,000 ($775,000), a modest sum for a modern F1 driver. That’s a far cry from established star Norris, who is reportedly paid in the region of around £19million ($32million).
Meanwhile, Ricciardo hasn’t done badly out of his sacking and will reportedly receive around £8.5million ($14million) after seeing his contract ended a year early. However, it does seem like the former Red Bull man is facing a year on the sidelines as he is down the list of the few teams that still have vacancies for 2023.
Ricciardo has said he is open to being a reserve/test driver for a team and has been linked with Mercedes. A switch to the NASCAR series in America has also been mooted.
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