Frenchman Esteban Ocon is confident that Oscar Piastri, currently the reserve driver for Alpine F1, will find a seat in Formula 1 very soon, hinting that Alonso is blocking the youngsters’ chances of a race seat.
After triumphing in Formula 3 in 2020, Oscar Piastri won the Formula 2 championship in 2021, however, the Australian has not been able to secure a full grid seat in Formula 1 for this 2022 season and must currently settle for a reserve driver role for the Alpine team. Piastri, who has been part of the Alpine programme since 2020, should logically be able to compete in practice 1 this season with the French manufacturer’s team, but no dates have yet been set still.
What is clear, however, is that if the youngster wishes to gain a race seat soon he will need to leave Alpine F1.
While the Australian driver is content to watch his fellow drivers from the Alpine garage during Grand Prix weekends, Esteban Ocon for his part has maintained that Piastri will soon get a starting spot on the Formula 1 grid because Alonso is still quick and wishes to keep racing long after this season is complete.
“Oscar is a great guy, he is very involved in the team and he will have a great test programme. He will probably be the best prepared driver ever with the test programme he has at Alpine,” said Ocon dutifully advertising his young team mate to the paddock in an interview with MotorsportWeek.
“I’m sure he will have a seat in Formula 1 soon. I don’t know where in the paddock, but the opportunity is there for those who deserve it and Oscar is one of them. He has won all the major titles and he is very professional and dedicated. So yes, I’m sure you will see him again very soon.”
Piastri’s future at Alpine is largely dependent on whether the team decides to extend the contract of two-time world champion Fernando Alonso beyond 2022. The 40-year-old Spaniard will begin talks with Alpine this summer regarding his future in Formula One but TJ13 understands that Alonso is pushing for a significant extension to race for at least two more years at the Enstone based squad. Piastri will need to start looking elsewhere now.