Piastri gets new deal to stay at McLaren until 2026

Formula 1

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McLaren has agreed a two-year contract extension with Oscar Piastri which will keep the rookie at the team until the end of the 2026 season.

Last year McLaren wrested Piastri away from Alpine who originally announced him as their replacement for Fernando Alonso. After the Contract Recognition Board ruled in McLaren’s favour Piastri joined them as one of their race drivers for 2023 and ’24.

“I am thrilled to be extending my partnership with McLaren for many years,” said Piastri. “I want to be fighting it out at the front of the grid with this team and I am excited by the vision and foundations that are already being laid to get us there,” said Piastri.

After winning three consecutive junior single-seater titles between 2019 and 2021, Alpine placed Piastri in a reserve driver role last year. He said he was pleased by the commitment McLaren had shown to him since switching teams.

“The welcome that I have received and the relationships that I have built make this feel like home already,” he said. “The team’s consistent commitment in me has made me feel incredibly valued and the desire from the team for me to be part of its long-term future made this an easy decision. To be wanted like that and for the team to show so much belief in me after just half a season, means a lot.”

Piastri’s first F1 season got off to a disappointing start as he qualified 18th and suffering a race-ending electronics failure in Bahrain. But since then he has been able to make more of an impact and is enjoying the highest-scoring rookie season for a driver since 2019.

He has finished six grands prix in the points, with fourth place in the British Grand Prix being his best result. He also came second in the sprint race at Spa-Francorchamps and led a grand prix for the first time at Monza.

Piastri lies 11th in the standings, three places behind team mate Lando Norris. Today’s announcement means the pair will remain together at least the end of 2025 when Norris’s contract expires.

“It’s fantastic to confirm that Oscar has signed a multi-year extension with the team,” said McLaren team principal Andrea Stella. “Oscar is an asset to McLaren and constantly impresses with his performance, work ethic and attitude, so it was an easy decision for the team to make.

“He has already proved pivotal to the team, so it’s brilliant to have his vote of confidence as we push to win championships again in the future. I look forward to seeing him develop with us as we continue this journey together.”

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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13 comments on “Piastri gets new deal to stay at McLaren until 2026”

  1. Yeah, good to see that some things that make huge sense just happen.

  2. Unsurprising

  3. McLaren had to move fast. I’m sure RB and the other top two were talking to Piastri.
    But is it fair on Piastri? He is now locked in with Macca, who may or may not offer a race winning car soon.
    Or is he? There are ways and means in F1 as we know. I would guess that Webber has got him an option with RB for 2027, with a ‘bring forward’ clause, just in case.

    1. I agree, being locked in to a team that’s produced some awful cars, including the one at the start of this season, is not necessarily a good thing.
      In reality, the best he can hope for is to be driving for the 4th best team as I expect Mercedes to recover and Ferrari seem to have made an art form out of being the second or third best team permanently.

    2. The trajectory of McLaren over the last few months is better than any other team bar RBR so why not commit now. Worst case scenario is it tides him over to the next big rule change.

    3. RR, the “is it fair” comment is a bit weird, given that it is Piastri’s free choice to decide whether or not to sign that contract extension and to judge for himself whether it was worth it.

      As for your later question of what Ron Dennis might think of the pairing – why does that matter? Ron has been out of the team for nearly 7 years now – it’s about as relevant as asking what Arrivabene thinks of Ferrari’s line up, or Peter Sauber what he thinks of the driver line up at Sauber.

  4. Btw, what does Ron Dennis make of all this..
    This is the best driver pairing at McLaren since he brought in Alonso with Lewis. He lived to regret life with Alonso of course, twice. But there’s no politics now at Woking.

    1. You forget Alonso/Button.

  5. This is good news for both Piastri and McLaren.

    Its also a message to the rest of the grid. This is what happens when you get a good F2 graduate.

    Piastri, Lawson,..their success puts extra pressure on Sargent, Zhou

  6. Would love to see an article about why we’re seeing such long term contracts these days. Lando got one very early in his career, Ocon got one at Alpine, now Piastri does… Are teams worried about others trying to snatch them or are these guys not willing to wait a little and see if another better opportunity opens up?

    1. I think that is remarkable too. When LeClerc and Verstappen got their long term deals I suspected it had something to do with their fear drivers salaries would ultimately be brought under the cost cap. But, since that was never a discussion, I no longer think that.

      My guess is that there are enough release clauses in the driver’s contracts that you can always part ways. In Piastri’s case I believe it is highly unlikely he doesn’t have an exit possibility if Red Bull comes knocking.

    2. I was surprised to see this from Piastri too, particularly with Webber as his manager. Webber was renowned for only signing 1 year deals. Webber wanted to place the pressure of performing squarely on his own shoulders, plus the right to renegotiate each year, I always liked that about him. I would have expected Piastri to be similar. If his previous form in junior series plays out in F1 he could be worth some serious coin before 2026 and may have sold himself too cheaply.

  7. McLaren being very sensible.

    Piastri is a rising star, and you have to hope that McLaren continues to make progress with the car.

    A team to watch.

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