oscar piastri
Oscar Piastri'S (L) future in Formula 1 remains unclear after he denied Alpine's announcement that he will be replacing Fernando Alonso (R) for the 2023 Formula 1 season. Source: Franck Fife/AFP

Shortly after Spanish race driver Fernando Alonso announced his switch to Astro Martin for the 2023 Formula 1 season, BWT Alpine F1 Team swiftly reacted by promoting reserve driver Oscar Piastri for its 2023 driver line-up.

The 21-year-old, who won the 2021 Formula 2 Championship, offered a different response and claims he has not signed a contract with the Enstone-based team for 2023.

As the Formula 1 community speculate the Australians’ future in the sport, we are reminded of the uncertainty that international students face, whether when dealing with student visa complication, job scams, or student scams.

With that being said, here are three lessons you can learn from Oscar Piastri’s contract chaos:

Lessons from Oscar Piastri’s contract confusion

1. Read and understand the details

The devil is in the details, and the same can be said when signing a contract as you will be bound by the obligations and duties within it.

So before signing a contract, be it for a student loan or work purposes, be sure to read and understand the details before you put your John Hancock on it.

In Piastri’s case, he is still considering his options in Formula 1 as that decision can influence his career trajectory within the sport.

Learning some basic legal terms or consulting a lawyer can help you understand the legalities of the contract you are signing. If you are signing an employment contract, here are a few essential things to check before putting your signature on it:

  • Your job description and responsibilities
  • Your salary
  • Working hours
  • Notice period and cause for termination
  • Holiday pay and sick leave

When you receive your student visa, you should also read the terms and conditions to follow when you are an international student in a foreign country. For instance, a general UK student visa only allows you to work up to 20 hours a week during the term.

2. Delay putting down your signature

If you are feeling hesitant about the terms and conditions of a contract, don’t rush to sign if you need more time to think about its terms.

You can also request to delay signing a contract if you want more time to understand it or if you are considering negotiating for certain benefits or want to buy time to consider better offers.

oscar piastri

Stay safe online and never share private information. Source: Timothy A. Clary/AFP

3. Trust and verify the source

Formula 1 fans around the globe were left confused when Alpine and Piastri issued contradicting statements about the Australian future in the sport — even more so when public fan accounts frequently make false claims of significant events in Formula 1, such as a crucial driver transfer.

Similarly, whether you are applying for your student visa or seeking employment in a foreign country, you should always be mindful of who you are dealing with.

Arrive, a platform assisting international students in making a smooth transition to Canada, states that international students may come across employment-related scams when applying for student jobs or full-time jobs after they graduate in Canada.

A rule of thumb is to be cautious of any job offers you receive from companies if you have not applied for the job or attended an interview. A recruitment agency’s request for a fee is likely a scam. Regarding student visas, only immigration offices of the countries you plan to study are authorised to issue a valid student visa.