F1 2022: Daniel Ricciardo’s move after McLaren blindside, Oscar Piastri, Alpine, contracts, Lando Norris

Oscar Piastri has heaped praise on Daniel Ricciardo, revealing the two spoke at length over the phone to clear the air.

Ricciardo was blindsided by McLaren’s move to sign the Aussie young gun in the middle of the season.

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Ricciardo’s contract was cut short as the Woking-based outfit opted to re-tool around Piastri and Lando Norris.

The 33-year-old’s F1 future remains up in the air heading into 2023 with vacant seats being less and less as the weeks drag on.

Piastri sent the Formula 1 world into anarchy when he shunned Alpine who attempted to announce he would be replacing the departing Fernando Alonso.

The contract saga came to a conclusion at the hands of the Contract Recognition Board who revealed Piastri had no contract signed with the French outfit.

Ricciardo in the midst of the chaos revealed he had no contact with Piastri or his manager, former F1 superstar Mark Webber.

Speculation ran wild off the back of the news, but now Piastri says the two have cleared the airwaves with Ricciardo calling and congratulating him on the promotion.

“This moment should be also really big for him,” Ricciardo said of his Piastri call earlier this month.

“I don‘t want to make it a bad situation for him.

“I truly do wish him well. I want him to have a good run in Formula 1.”

Speaking to the In the Fast Lane podcast, Piastri said receiving a call from Ricciardo despite his unclear career prospects was a measure of the man.

“Yes, I think so,” Piastri said when asked whether it was important that he and Ricciardo were on good terms. “That was a really great thing, for Daniel to get in touch.

“I was planning on getting in touch myself, but with the timing of things, he was obviously at a race, and quite frankly I didn’t actually know if he wanted to hear from me.

“I was trying to think of what to say, but he beat me to it.

“A true professional, Daniel is. My respect for him was already extremely high, and it’s only gotten higher in the way he’s responded.”

Piastri said knowing the relationship between the two men was intact and not fractured relieved a heavy toll from his shoulders.

“Him getting in touch like that, it was great for me personally,” he said. “Knowing that there were no hard feelings, that really helps me quite a lot.

“That was good, to get in touch. That was a nice moment.”

“It is a bit of a sliding doors moment, but I think if I can get close to emulating what success he’s had on track and also the character he is off the track, then I think I’ll be doing a reasonable job.”

The young Aussie detailed the stressful time he’s endured since Alonso blindsided Alpine and set the F1 silly season into overdrive.

Alpine’s plans for Piastri had been to put him behind the wheel of the Williams before slotting him in once Alonso walked away.

But the three time world champion had other plans and instead signed a multi-year contract to replace Sebastian Vettel at Aston Martin.

“I think the first [emotion] was obviously relief,” he said. “It was obviously a pretty stressful time the [contract recognition board] hearing.

“The first was relief, and then obviously happiness.

“It’s something up in working towards since I started racing way back when — I think it was about 12 years ago or 11 years ago now — so to finally know what my future holds firstly and, secondly, that it would be an F1, that was relief and a very, very happy moment.

“There were a lot of feelings going on.

“When I first started I wanted to be a professional in any kind of motorsport and just race cars for a living, but to be able to do that in F1, I think it’s pretty hard to find a better day job than that.

“I’m super excited and very much looking forward to the future, because I want to make sure this is my job for a while now.”

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