F1: Wolff concerned Piastri move sets a bad precedent

Toto Wolff has voiced concern that Oscar Piastri’s contentious move to McLaren has set a bad precedent in the sport.

Alpine boss Otmar Szafnauer questioned the young Australian’s “integrity” and another team principal, Wolff, agrees.

“What I really stand firm for is all of us constructors are investing a lot of money in our junior programs,” said Wolff, quoted by The Race.

“We invest human resources that go to the go-kart tracks, to the junior formulas, and in some cases it’s little money, in some cases it’s more.

“George Russell and Esteban Ocon, we financed them a long way on. To know now, a precedent has been set that if you are clever, you can maneuver yourself out is something that’s clearly not good for the industry.

“So we will employ even more lawyers for even stricter contracts.”

“For me, I believe in the integrity also of the drivers we have,” the Austrian said.

“I think we need to be positive, to try and find talent and develop them, but hope on the character.”

Wolff agreed with the suggestion Alpine had made a mistake with the contract of their young talent but warned Piastri, given his entrance into Formula 1, will need to impress.

“Contracts are the underlying fundamentals of any professional commercial dealings with each other, that’s clear,” he said.

“But in this world, you will probably be able to spot the gaps, or opportunities, in every contract. And then it’s up to the judges to determine what the outcome is.

“I think I’ve made many mistakes in my life when I thought a contract covered all angles and it didn’t.

“Then it comes down to the human and to the kind of long-term perspective one has on the relationships.

“Again, very difficult to judge from the outside. There are always two parts of the story.

“But the boy better be quick.”