Australian top talent Oscar Piastri is not denying that he is disappointed that he will not be on the Formula 1 grid in 2022, despite an extensive reserve role at Alpine as a consolation prize.
“Of course I’m a bit disappointed,” Piastri repeats in conversation with SpeedWeek words we’ve heard from him before. “I think that, given my performance, I certainly deserved a place on the grid,” says the driver who has won Formula Renault 2.0, Formula 3 and Formula 2 successively in recent years.
Piastri, who is assisted by ex-Formula 1 driver Mark Webber, is part of Alpine’s talent program. However, there is no place for him on that team. The Franco-English formation chose to continue with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon early in 2021.
Also read: Webber: ‘It’s not a matter of if, but when Piastri reaches F1’
Twenty-year-old Piastri was briefly mentioned as an outsider for a seat at Alfa Romeo, but never seemed a serious option there. Guanyu Zhou, also from the Alpine program, was preferred there. Piastri thus remains a reserve role at Alpine. He was promised an extensive test program, including Friday training.
No shoot out
Whether Alpine will have a race seat for him before 2023 is still very much the question. Ocon’s contract runs until the end of 2024. Alonso, on the other hand, is aged at forty, but still seems to be old in the good sense of the word and enjoying his comeback.
Alonso is also of course a two-time world champion and the Alpine top seems to depend mainly on Alonso himself as long as he continues to perform at a high level. CEO Marcin Budkowski already stated that 2022 will not be a year long shoot–out to get a seat is between Alonso and Piastri.
Also read: Alpine: ‘Won’t compare Alonso and Piastri for seat in 2023’