Piastri braced for no racing in 2022 to focus on Alpine F1 reserve role

Oscar Piastri is set to face a year without racing in 2022 so he can focus on his reserve role with Alpine in his push to secure a Formula 1 drive for 2023.

Piastri braced for no racing in 2022 to focus on Alpine F1 reserve role
Listen to this article

Formula 2 championship leader Piastri was named as Alpine's new reserve driver for next year earlier this week, ending all hopes of a potential graduation to F1.

Piastri was originally set to spend two seasons in both F3 and F2, but won the F3 title at the first attempt last year with Prema, and now leads the F2 standings by 36 points with four races remaining.

Speaking to select media including Motorsport.com at the Losail International Circuit ahead of this weekend's Qatar Grand Prix, Piastri revealed that he is set to face a year without a race seat.

"At the moment, I don't think so," Piastri said when asked if he would be racing next year.

"I want to be focused on getting to F1. I think being in the paddock as often as I can, being in the paddock with Alpine as much as I can, to me, even if I'm not racing, I think that's equally if not more beneficial towards my goal of getting to F1.

"As much as I'm going to miss racing, because I don't think I will race anything next year, I think there's a bigger picture to look at and focus on being in F1 firstly."

Piastri added: "I won't be going back to F2 next year."

Piastri said back in September that he would consider having a year on the sidelines to get fully up to speed with Alpine.

The team currently has Esteban Ocon signed to a long-term contract, while two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has committed for the 2022 season.

Oscar Piastri, Prema Racing, Guanyu Zhou, Uni-Virtuosi Racing, Ralph Boschung, Campos Racing

Oscar Piastri, Prema Racing, Guanyu Zhou, Uni-Virtuosi Racing, Ralph Boschung, Campos Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Piastri said the team was working on putting together "a pretty extensive testing programme" to ensure that he is "driving reasonably frequently".

"OK, it's not going to be racing, but again, if it's going to be any kind of distraction and mean I miss out on any opportunities with Alpine in the F1 paddock, then it doesn't particularly interest me to be honest," Piastri said.

"As weird as this is for me to say, I'd rather not go racing and be fully-focused on my reserve driver role with the aim of trying to get to F1 in the near future, rather than be dabbling everywhere else and taking a bit of my focus off getting to F1."

Next year's regulations require teams to run a young driver in at least two practice sessions, making it likely that Piastri will get a chance to be part of a race weekend with Alpine, but he said plans were yet to be confirmed.

"Obviously there's the talk of the young driver FP1s, but that's all I know at the moment," Piastri said.

"I don't know how many that will be. I would like to think as reserve driver I would be doing those young driver FP1s.

"I'd need to look more into that and talk to Alpine about that, but at the moment, I think it'll be the young driver [tests] and see if there are any more."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 Form Guide: Qatar Grand Prix
Previous article

F1 Form Guide: Qatar Grand Prix

Next article

Tost: Gasly "made another big step forward" in F1 2021

Tost: Gasly "made another big step forward" in F1 2021
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Prime

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022