For a team that has already made giant strides in its first season in F1 as a completely rebranded outfit, Alpine racing have already made sensational news. No more Renault, but Alpine, the Formula 1 team by virtue of Esteban Ocon’s incredible Hungarian GP win and veteran driver Alonso’s maiden podium (Qatar GP) upon his comeback proved there’s more to their name that coincides with the picturesque mountainous ranges in Europe.
And that, the goals the team aims to gather can be very summit-like, much like the famous mountains across the Alpine range, some of which are north of 4,000 m in altitude.
One of the forthcoming additions to the noted F1 team is being added exactly for achieving this endeavour; to take the team northwards in the driver and constructor rankings.
It’s something that Oscar Piastri, all of 20, will look to achieve when that day comes where he’s made to take the wheels of the Alpine racing team.
But before that happens, the likelihood of which may not be, at least, until 2023 it’s important to reflect on the famous F2 driver who’s currently racing for Prema.
Having been announced as the reserve driver for Alpine racing for 2022, the noted Australian has already made wide progress in the intriguing antecedents to his F1 journey, one where he’ll be stationed in the Alpine garage for the forthcoming season.
Famous for taking a hat-trick of poles this season in F2, the driver who took to karting aged just 10, has already collected 5 wins from 17 race starts in 2021.
This includes 4 poles and as many fastest laps.
But the highlight for Piastri, in what has been quite a young career and one that’s still maturing with every passing race, is his ability to hold fort and find grip in a racing car in conditions that are both favourable for racing as well as difficult to negotiate.
With other talented drivers known for both skill and daring racing alongside him, Oscar Piastri seemed pretty much unfazed when at the F2 race at Sochi, September 2021, he clocked a sensational 1:47:465 to take his car #2 to pole at Russia. In so doing, he denied India’s Jehan Daruwala the glowing start from the front of the grid.
This year, he’s already given a tough fight to popular names on the circuit of the young and the bold, whether it is Robert Schwartzman, Liam Lawson, and Theo Pourchaire, the latter in the troika having already conducted his F1 test for Alfa Romeo earlier in August.
But in Oscar Piastri’s grasp sit famous triumphs such as the winning the FIA F3 world championship, a checkered win in 2020, a glowing season punctuated by 6 podiums and ultimately, a championship triumph by a margin as scant as 3 points over ART Grand Prix’s Pourchaire.
When confirmed for a forthcoming test at Abu Dhabi, also the season-ending venue for what has been an incredible round of races in Formula 1, Piastri reflected on the importance of a moment that could well be life-changing for the promising Australian born in April of 2001.
“I’m very excited to drive in the young driver test,” shared young Oscar Piastri. “It’s almost like my first official day in my new job for the next year when I become the team’s reserve driver.”
Having said the above, Oscar Piastri would add just what the opportunity of contesting, even if in a solo test, truly means to him by sharing, Any day in an F1 car is pretty special but to drive the current one with other drivers on track in a somewhat competitive environment is very cool. Thanks to the team for this opportunity, I’m certainly looking forward to it and working through a very full testing programme on the day.”
Laurent Rossi, meanwhile, couldn’t hide his enthusiasm about signing a serious F1 prospect for the team as he extended lavish praise for Oscar Piastri, the boy who claimed a hat-trick of poles this year in F2, “Oscar has had a fantastic Formula 2 season this year, again showing his class and this Young Driver Test Appearance is well earned.”