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Piastri hailed for side-stepping Alpine Szafnauer conflict

Piastri hailed for side-stepping Alpine Szafnauer conflict

F1 News

Piastri hailed for side-stepping Alpine Szafnauer conflict

Piastri hailed for side-stepping Alpine Szafnauer conflict

McLaren CEO Zak Brown has praised Oscar Piastri for his mindset after avoiding a "war of words" with Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer.

The Australian will make his F1 debut for the Woking-based outfit this year after rising through the junior ranks with rival outfit Alpine.

Piastri was initially called up to replace Aston Martin's new recruit Fernando Alonso, only for the former F2 champion to deny a contract had been signed.

It later emerged Piastri had already signed for McLaren, with the Contract Recognition Board eventually citing in favour of Brown's team.

In the aftermath, Szafnauer and Alpine attacked Piastri's character, accusing the 21-year-old of a lack of loyalty amongst other criticisms.

READ MORE...McLaren set Mercedes 2023 yardstick

Piastri's handling of the situation, however, left Brown impressed as he gears up for his rookie season.

Asked by Speedcafe what his impressions were of Piastri, Brown replied: "Very focused, very mature, determined, doesn't seem to have a lot of ups and downs in his emotions.

"I saw a lot of that through the turmoil over the summer.

"He is a 21-year-old and here you have a big OEM who is making accusations and taking you to court.

"You have to have a tough character as a 21-year-old to be unfazed by that. He was, he kept his head down and I think he is going to let his driving do his talking.

"He didn't get into a war of words, even though Otmar said some very unpleasant and inaccurate statements - Oscar didn't rise to that.

"What I see is a very focused, mature, determined 21-year-old. That is what I see out of the car.

"In the car, we see the same thing and we see he is very fast."

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