How the Contracts Committee will decide Piastri’s fate in F1

How the Contracts Committee will decide Piastri’s fate in F1

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The Alpine and McLaren F1 teams believe they will be entitled to the services of the Australian driver by 2023. And, for the Pact of Concord which governs F1, they are required to comply with the decision of the Contract Recognition Commission (Contract Recognition Commissionor CRB)no longer take legal action to try to change the decision taken.

Formed after the controversy that arose between Jordan and Benetton over the first signing of Michael Schumacher and the subsequent dismissal of Roberto Moreno in benettonthe CRB often operates quietly in the background, only making the news when a high-profile dispute arises.

Reference is made to this advice in the FIA Sporting Regulations in appendix 5, but that section is actually empty, and there is a note that says “for the exclusive use of competitors entered in the FIA ​​Formula 1 World Championship”.

The full details of its operation are included in the Concorde Accord, so they are not public and not excessively known, not even within the F1 paddock.

The CRB exists independently of the FIA. Its function is to indicate to the highest instance which team has a valid contract with a driver and is authorized to use a super license on their behalf.

Its day-to-day function is to store all F1 race, reserve and test driver contracts, or at least the most important sections; teams are not necessarily required to provide all documentation, as full contracts are complex and cover marketing issues, advertising commitment clauses, etc.

When a dispute arises, three lawyers meet and review the evidence of all parties. They are required to deliver a result within three days of the hearing.

In two of CRB’s most famous cases, a driver’s original team won and the team that wanted to take him lost. It happened when David Coulthard tried to leave Williams to McLaren in 1995, and when Jenson Button wanted to go from BAR a williams a decade later.

David Coulthard remained at Williams in 1995 but moved to McLaren the following year.

One man who has experience with the CRB process – and got the result he wanted – is Timo Glock. At a time when they were not yet so common video calls, his hearing was held in person. As is often the case, the dispute was over the details of a clause.

“I was a test driver for BMW Sauber in 2007,” the German told “And then I was offered a starting seat at Toyota, and BMW had to enforce the clause to give me a starting seat with them, which they didn’t. But at the time, they had say yes.

“I don’t even remember how many were seated in the room, but there were lawyers involved looking both ways. Everyone had to explain their statement. BMW put their opinion on the table. And we put our opinion. And then they make the decision.”

“They decided there was no offer from BMW, I had one from Toyota and I was free to go. It was a bit of a tricky situation, but we had to go, because from our point of view and CRB, the situation was clear”.

“They wanted to keep me as a reserve, but in the end they didn’t give me a starting seat, they didn’t take the option they had on me. So it was quite easy and it worked out. done quickly. I think on Monday it might take a little longer.”

Glock says it was a good process: “If you have issues like this, and you have a clear opinion from outside counsel or the board, which is clearly unbiased, and who is just following the law, I think it’s good to have . Otherwise it would be an eternal fight.”

Glock's move to Toyota resulted in a racing seat for 2008

Toyota’s signature Glock translated for 2008

“It will be interesting to know how they decide on Piastri and what kind of legal situation they are in. Each side has their own point of view.”

If Alpine wins the CRB case, it does not necessarily mean that Oscar Piastri will race for the In stone in 2023. Given the controversy surrounding his attempted transfer to McLaren, it’s clear the relationship has deteriorated so much that in fact forcing him to drive would make little sense to either of them. Parties. In this case, Alpine would have the option of setting a price and selling it to McLaren.

However, Alpine could also, in theory, consider the interest of other teams who wanted to sign Piastri, or exchange him for another driver under contract with another team, such as Pierre Gasly.

If McLaren fails to land Piastri, either by CRB decision or a subsequent agreement with Alpine, it will have to find another driver to replace Daniel Ricciardo.

If Alpine loses, there is also the possibility of legal action, but not to recover their services. the team leader, Otmar Szafnauersaid Alpine would consider a damages action to recover money spent on its testing and training programs.


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