Formula 1: Christian Horner regrets Red Bull not signing Oscar Piastri

Oscar Piastri

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has revealed the team had the chance to sign Oscar Piastri when he was a younger driver.

Piastri will be on the grid in 2023 having signed for McLaren, though that deal was hardly plain sailing for all involved.

The young Aussie has been on the books at Alpine for some time and was told by the team that he would be being promoted there to replace Fernando Alonso for 2023, with the Spaniard heading to Aston Martin.

However, after Alpine took to Twitter to reveal the news, Piastri put out his own statement saying that he’d not be driving for them next season, and so it soon transpired that he had agreed to join McLaren instead.

A meeting of the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board was held to decide which of the contracts stood for next season and it was decided McLaren would win the case, with the dust now finally settling on a rather dramatic off-track period.

Red Bull could have signed Oscar Piastri

Piastri’s career path could have been very different, though, Christian Horner has revealed, with him telling the Beyond The Grid podcast that Red Bull had an opportunity to sign Oscar but decided against doing so, which is something the team principal of the Milton Keynes-based team regrets:

“He drove for the Arden team in Formula 4 and Formula Renault, and was obviously a significant talent,” said Horner.

“There was an opportunity for Red Bull to look at him at the time, and we didn’t take up that option, which is something that I regret. But what he went on to achieve is phenomenal, in Formula 3 and Formula 2.

“Now if he’d have been a driver here, there is no way that he wouldn’t have been under lock and key for a period in time. As I say, I wasn’t party, it’s difficult to judge what was promised or reneged on or so on.”

Oscar Piastri
BARCELONA, SPAIN – MAY 19: Oscar Piastri of Australia, Alpine F1 Reserve Driver walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Spain at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on May 19, 2022 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


It’s all water under the bridge now and Piastri has a deal with McLaren, whilst Red Bull have Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez locked in for at least another two years as a duo.

Piastri’s target will be to challenge Lando Norris as much as possible, then, as he takes over from Daniel Ricciardo, who currently does not have a drive on the 2023 grid and may not find one either.

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