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McLaren CEO responds to Szafnauer's 'integrity' comments on Piastri

Zak Brown has hit back at Otmar Szafnauer's 'lack of integrity' comments aimed at Oscar Piastri.

In the latest battle between McLaren and Alpine for the services of Oscar Piastri, Zak Brown has hit back at Otmar Szafnauer's comments that Piastri needed 'more integrity'. Prior to the Belgian GP, Fernando Alonso's planned departure from Alpine to Aston Martin opened the door for Piastri to be promoted from Alpine reserve driver to race driver for 2023. Alpine duly sent out a press release confirming Piastri as Esteban Ocon's teammate for 2023, but the Australian took to Twitter to publicly deny ever agreeing to race for the team next year. The 21-year-old is the frontrunner to replace Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren and, pending a review with F1's Contract Recognition Board, is expected to be confirmed by the Woking team. Piastri's very public race seat denial hasn't sat well with Alpine Team Principal Szafnauer, who dished out strong criticism over the Belgian GP weekend. “He hasn't driven in F1 yet, and my wish for Oscar was that he had a bit more integrity," Szafnauer told Sky Sports F1 . “He signed a piece of paper as well back in November and we've done everything on our end of the bargain to prepare him for F1."

McLaren CEO Brown hits back at Szafnauer

When asked to comment on the Szafnauer's claims, Brown rebuffed the remarks by suggesting that the Alpine Team Principal had little reason to question somebody else on integrity. “Ultimately I don’t know any of the details between that relationship, so I think it would be unfair for me to take a position either way," Brown responded to Sky Sports F1. “But judging by recent times, the way Fernando [Alonso] has departed had caught Otmar by surprise, and not too long ago he is the recipient of a €400,000 fine and 15 points [penalty], I’m not sure he comes with the highest level of credibility when making accusations around ethics.” The McLaren CEO is referring to the Racing Point brake duct scandal in 2020 when Szafnauer was Team Principal there. The team led by the American was found to have parts that were not designed in the correct way.

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