Red Bull Formula 1 team principal Christian Horner has revealed that he “regrets” the opportunity to sign Oscar Piastri to a development driver deal a few years ago.
Reigning F2 champion Oscar Piastri has been at the center of a contract saga involving McLaren and the Alpine F1 team in recent weeks, but the FIA’s contract approval committee has ruled that he will not make his F1 debut with McLaren in 2023. He has to decide
Oscar Piastri has worked his way up the junior ranks as part of Alpine’s academy, but it appears the team do not have a valid contract for him to drive in Formula 1 for 2023.
This is the story that has made F1’s biggest story this summer, with Christian Horner previously saying ‘something is wrong’ that Oscar Piastri does not have a solid drive with the Alpine F1 team.
On the latest episode of the F1 Beyond the Grid podcast, Christian Horner said it was ‘difficult’ to comment on Oscar Piastri’s situation, but said the deal would have been perfect if he had been under the Red Bull umbrella. In fact, Piastri revealed that he had the opportunity a few years ago before moving to F3.
“He drove for the Arden team in Formula 4 and Formula Renault and was clearly an important talent,” said Horner.
“At the time Red Bull had the opportunity to consider him, but we didn’t go with that option, which I regret. But what he has done in F3 and F2 is amazing .”
“If he was the driver here, there’s no way he hasn’t been locked up for a period of time. Like I said, I wasn’t the party. What was promised, what was destroyed. It’s hard to decide a
“But it was certainly unexpected in some areas.”
Oscar Piastri raced in British Formula 4 and Formula Renault Eurocup between 2017 and 2018 for Arden, a junior team founded by Christian Horner. He eventually joined the Renault academy in early 2020 before winning back-to-back titles in F3 and F2.
Christian Horner said the impact of Fernando Alonso’s decision to leave the Alpine F1 team for Aston Martin in 2023 “has created ripples and spread to many seats, now including Red Bull’s sister team AlphaTauri. I have,” he said.
After losing a contract lawsuit to keep Oscar Piastri in 2023, the Alpine F1 team has turned its attention to signing current AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly.
Red Bull will not agree to release Pierre Gasly unless another driver is lined up.
Plans to sign IndyCar driver Colton Herta have been scrapped after the FIA refused an exemption from the F1 Superlicence, with Nick de Vries now emerging as a candidate for the AlphaTauri seat.
Although Red Bull is not believed to be considering an existing young driver for promotion to F1 in 2023, Horner feels Red Bull’s junior program is still in good shape.
“We continue to invest in young people. We have great young people in the programme, from karting to stepping up to F4,” said Horner.
“I think Red Bull have done a really good job of giving kids a chance, investing in young talent and giving them opportunities they wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
“Isaac Hajar in Formula 3 this year has had a great first season. I think Ayumu Iwasa in Formula 2 is an obvious driver for me. They are only two people in the programme.”
“Liam Lawson had a difficult year but he showed yet another talent. Dennis Hauger was a bit depressed in F2 after a dominant year in F3. But again. But how much is it or how much is equipment?”
Category: F1 / red bull / Oscar Piastri