F1 boss storms into McLaren office for major row in new Netflix series

Otmar Szafnauer and Zak Brown’s behind-the-scenes talks over Oscar Piastri’s Alpine exit have been caught on camera. Alpine boss Szafnauer storms into the McLaren motorhome to approach Brown and even threatens the team with legal action after stealing their star.

The drama was recorded by Netflix cameras at the Dutch Grand Prix a month after Piastri publicly snubbed Alpine’s offer of a promotion on social media.

The American principal boss asks “Is Zak around” before being transported into his private office. Szafnauer then goes on to suggest Alpine had a problem with the highly-rated Australian as the constructor helped fund his junior career.

Szafnauer explained: “I just wanted to say with all this Oscar stuff. Although we lost Oscar, we think we have a good case in UK law. He shouldn’t have taken anything, if he thought he didn’t have a contract. He took a lot from us. It’s unjust enrichment. The value of that is $5million (£4.1m).”

However, Brown tries to talk him down as he stressed the move could backfire. He responds: “But, you know the downside is, you guys going after him would be a PR disaster. Is the $5m worth it?.”

Szafnauer interjects: “$5m, you don’t just give that up. I don’t think we need to battle it out in the media. We say nothing.” Although, Brown quickly realises that McLaren could be caught in the firing line as he admits promises had been made to 21-year-old Piastri.

Brown added “Some of that stuff might roll our way. Without getting into details of my Oscar contract I may have some support I have to give him. So his problems become my problems.” But, Szafanuer refuses to back down, simply responding: “And?”

The argument was filmed just days after the case ended up in FIA’s Contract Recognition Board which sided with McLaren.

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The tribunal issued a “unanimous decision” that his deal with McLaren was the only valid agreement. Alpine eventually signed the services of French star Pierre Gasly from AlphaTauri.

Later in the episode, Szafnauer said there was “no need” for a lawsuit as they had solved their driver predicament. He added: “So for me with Oscar not coming to our team, appointing Pierre Gasly. That could work out even better. There’s no need for a lawsuit.

“I’m just happy we have two top drivers.”

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