CrasPressure had been mounting on Daniel Ricciardo for several weeks before the F1 circus arrived at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.
He had a “lonely” race, and finished 13th of only 14 runners. It would be the final nail in the coffin of his McLaren career.
Just before midnight on Friday night (AEST), the Contract Recognition Board announced it had found McLaren had the only valid contract with Piastri.
READ MORE: ‘Dizzy’ Nadal shaken up by startling incident
READ MORE: Fan’s delight moments after Kyrgios meltdown
READ MORE: Wallabies captain ruled out of Bledisloe Cup
That contract was signed on July 4 – the day after the British grand prix.
Moments after the CRB released their findings and shortly before practice two got underway at the Dutch grand prix at Zandvoort, McLaren released their own statement confirming Piastri would drive for the team alongside Lando Norris in 2023 on a “multi-year contract”.
“I’m extremely excited to be making my F1 debut with such a prestigious team as McLaren and I’m very grateful for the opportunity that’s been offered to me,” Piastri said.
“The team has a long tradition of giving young talent a chance, and I’m looking forward to working hard alongside Lando to push the team towards the front of the grid.
“I’m focused on preparing for my F1 debut in 2023 and starting my F1 career in papaya.”
McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl said the Woking squad was “delighted” to welcome Piastri.
“He has an impressive racing career to date, and we are sure that together with Lando, he will be able to help us move another step forward towards our ambitions.
“We still have an important job to do this season which the team remains focused on, before we will then ensure Oscar is integrated into the team as quickly as possible and ready for the challenges ahead.
“We look forward to preparing for an exciting 2023 season together.”
McLaren chief executive Zak Brown said in Norris and Piastri the team had a driver lineup with “a huge amount of potential”.
“Oscar is an exciting addition to the McLaren family, and we look forward to seeing him grow with our F1 team.”
For Ricciardo, seats on the F1 grid are running out.
The seat at Alpine now looks to be going to Pierre Gasly, with talk in the paddock indicating the side has agreed to terms with Red Bull to buy him out of his recently-announced AlphaTauri contract extention for next year.
Doubts remain about Mick Schumacher’s future at Haas, which remains realistically one of few available seats.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!