McLaren’s 2022 driver line-up of Lando Norris and rookie Oscar Piastri is finally officially confirmed, with the 2021 Formula 2 World Champion having signed his FIA super licence, making him eligible to race in the pinnacle of motorsport.
He signed the document in some style, whilst wearing a watch worth over AU$500,000 (circa $335,000).
The 21-year-old was seen wearing an exclusive Richard Mille RM 67-02 Automatic Winding Extra Flat ‘Alexander Zverev’, with Richard Mille being one of the Woking-based team’s leading sponsors.
Piastri’s watch was the special ‘Alexander Zverev’ edition, with it featuring the colours of the German flag, which is, of course, the nationality of the superstar tennis player.
Interestingly, Piastri opted to go with Zverev’s edition rather than the two editions that involve current F1 drivers.
Double World Champion Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc both have their own editions of the watch, with the Australian likely hoping that he can have his own signature model in a few years.
Signing his super licence must have come as a relief to the former Alpine reserve driver, who has endured an eventful season to say the least.
Following on from his 2021 F2 success, Piastri has been Alpine’s reserve driver this season, with him being part of the Enstone-based team’s academy.
However, their relationship turned sour incredibly quickly after the Hungarian Grand Prix, following Alonso’s announcement that he was moving to Aston Martin in 2023.
With that in mind, Alpine announced that Piastri would race alongside Esteban Ocon next season, something the Aussie quickly denied in an official statement on social media.
Not only did Piastri deny that he’d agreed to race for Alpine, he announced that he wouldn’t be doing so either.
This infuriated team principal Otmar Szafnauer, who became even more furious after it was announced that Piastri had signed for McLaren to replace Daniel Ricciardo.
Szafnauer was certain that Piastri was contracted to the French side for 2023, which resulted in the FIA’s Contract Recognition Board determining who the young driver was actually going to be competing for next season.
To Alpine’s displeasure, it was confirmed by the FIA that his deal with McLaren was the only binding one, meaning he was free to join the British side to partner Norris in 2023.