Alpine F1 Boss Hints at Bigger Things to Come for Their Junior Driver Oscar Piastri

Published 09/27/2021, 11:02 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Russian Grand Prix – Sochi Autodrom, Sochi, Russia – September 26, 2021 Alpine’s Fernando Alonso during the race REUTERS/Anton Vaganov


Alpine are looking in a solid position to finish the 2021 season in P5 in the standings. Their academy drivers are fighting it out for the F2 championship and the final seat at the Alfa Romeo Racing. But Alpine Executive Director Marcin Budkowski stated that one of their junior drivers could get a nod to being the reserve driver of the 2022 season.

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Oscar Piastri is currently leading the F2 championship from fellow Alpine Academy Driver Guanyu Zhou by 36 points. But it looks like it would be Zhou who might get the opportunity to drive in F1 next season.

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Oscar’s been extremely impressive: Marcin Budkowski

If the Aussie driver wins the F2 championship this season, it would be his third consecutive title in junior categories. His performances and results are on par with the junior careers of Charles Leclerc and George Russell.

“Definitely, Oscar’s been extremely impressive. He is potentially on course to win his third championship in three years. He has won F3, he won the Renault EuroCup in the previous years, so what a streak already,” said the Alpine Executive Director.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 01: <> during race one of the Formula 3 Championship at Silverstone on August 01, 2020, in Northampton, England. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

“Even if he doesn’t win it, it’s a pretty strong three years for a young driver. I think there are very few that have managed that in the past, so does that impress us, at Alpine? Of course, it does.

“Will he win the championship? We’ll know that soon but certainly, it has an influence on the plans we are making for next year for the reserve driver’s seat and for the year’s output of the academy in general,” said Marcin.

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Alpine boss explains the situation around Zhou’s future

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Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou is leading the race to replace Antonio Giovinazzi at Alfa Romeo for the 2022 season. The Alpine driver has driven the 2021 Alpine and impressed everyone with his speed in free practice sessions.

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

“To your question on Guanyu Zhou, there are rumors flying around, and again I am not going to comment on rumors here, or on driver contracts, as I said, we are evaluating options for our academy drivers but the success of an academy is also measured through its output,” said Budkowski.

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It would a massive shame if F1 misses out on the talent of Piastri for the 2022 season. Piastri is looking to follow Leclerc and Russell to win the F2 title in their rookie season.

Will we see Piastri in F1 next season? Let us know.

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Devang Chauhan

457 articles

Devang Chauhan is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his graduation in Journalism and Mass Communication, he has a keen eye for writing engaging and detailed articles on F1. Previously a writer for Sports Social's 'Chase Your Sport' Magazine, Devang has been an ardent follower of the sport for over a decade and has attended two editions of the Indian Grand Prix.

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