Piastri: ‘I think that speaks volumes about their belief in me’

Despite winning the Formula 2 title, Oscar Piastri will have to watch from the sidelines in 2022. The Australian is under contract with Alpine F1 Team as a test driver and says he’s glad for the opportunity, though of course he would have loved to actually be racing this year.

Piastri has had an immense racing career so far. The Aussie won the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019, the Formula 3 championship in 2020 and the Formula 2 championship in 2021. Yet this was not enough for a permanent seat in Formula 1. Instead, he will work as a test driver for Alpine and there is nothing wrong with that according to Piastri himself.

Special program for Piastri

“Alpine are putting together such an extensive test programme for this year and I think that speaks volumes about their belief in me,” Piastri revealed in an interview with F1.com. Piastri will work in the simulator a lot, get opportunities to test older cars and will be allowed to drive at least two FP1s, due to the new rules Formula 1 uses from 2022 onwards.

Piastri says the kind of test program he has been given is special, as driving the 2022 cars is prohibited outside official sessions. “While there is no confirmation of whether it will lead to a step up, it’s definitely a very positive sign that they are very keen to have me,” the Australian says.

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Watching along with Alonso and Ocon

In addition to his test program, Piastri will be present every weekend in 2022 as a reserve driver for Alpine. This will at least allow him to get used to what an F1 weekend is like, should he take over the seat of Fernando Alonso or Esteban Ocon in the future.

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