The Contracts Office has already seen the “Piastri case” and the resolution should be known before the Netherlands

The Contracts Office has already seen the “Piastri case” and the resolution should be known before the Netherlands

The Contract Recognition Office today assessed the “Piastri case”

Szafnauer said the solution will be known in “two or three days”

The ‘Piastrigate’ will have a solution “in two or three days”. Otmar Szafnauer said so, after the Contract Recognition Office listened to the parties.

In Formula 1, pilot contracts are filed with the Contract Recognition Office in Geneva and, in the event of a dispute, all the parties -riders and teams- accept recourse to this arbitration, excluding the always complicated, costly and often uncertain route of the civil courts.

Piastri believes his contract with Alpine is no longer valid as the deadline for the team to exercise his option has not been met and he does not want to race for Alpine. The French, on the other hand, defend having respected the deadline.

Szafnauer has said in recent days that he wants the future employer to pay for Piastri’s “training”, since this year he has driven around 3,500 kilometers in a last year’s Alpine to start driving a Formula 1.

McLaren, the alleged destination of Piastri, has already indicated that it has no intention of paying, in particular after having signed a succulent check to Daniel Ricciardo so that he breaks “by mutual agreement” the contract he had with them.

The office was created after the controversies that arose when Eddie Jordan thought he had an agreement with Michael Schumacher after having made his debut at the Belgian Grand Prix and Flavio Briatore took over the German’s services, “dismissing Roberto Moreno, who inherited the steering wheel from Jordan.

Since then, there have been few cases to settle. One with David Coulthard and another with Jenson Button, double in this case, and a third with Timo Glock.

Button was at BAR when he announced he was going to Williams, but David Richards argued the Briton had a valid contract and the arbitration ruled in his favor. Button ran with them and “retracted” his contract with Williams, delaying him for a season. But when the time came, he believed it was in his best interest to continue at BAR, despite the contract with Williams. He ended up ‘buying’ his contract to be free, we always thought that Honda was putting part of the funds for the operation.

In Coulthard’s case, he wanted to leave Williams in 1995 for McLaren, but he had to continue that season with Woking. For its part, Glock had a trial contract with BMW when Toyota’s offer arrived; BMW wanted Timo to continue as a tester, but the referee said if he had a firm seat he had the power to walk away.

Giedo Van de Garde went straight to the court in the Australian state of Vitoria claiming a seat with Sauber for 2015. The court agreed with him, but there were a lot of issues about it. For example, Sauber had not processed the superlicense not to have it. In the end, almost with the start of the Grand Prix imminent, and after quite a bit of pressure, the two parties reached an agreement and Van der Garce agreed to break his contract.

How will it all end? If Alpine is right, it’s a serious problem to have a rider who doesn’t want to race with them. He could, depending on how the contract is written, seek to place him in another team. But it is neither easy nor cheap as it would be for only one year. And McLaren, after not having Ricciardo, would have to look for an “interim driver”, which is not easy either.

The solution will be available in 24-48 hours, all later before the Dutch Grand Prix. Whereas the Mazepin-Uralkali-Haas affair has other political connotations, and cannot be assimilated.

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