Oscar Piastri is the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Champion after storming his way to the title.
It was such an impressive from the rookie….yes, it’s his first season in the series, and he settled quickly enough to immediately be one of the front-runners on the final run to Formula One.
His Championship victory means that he can no longer take part in the F2 series and will have to find a race seat elsewhere next season after all 20 seats in Formula One were confirmed.
Piastri will be the Alpine F1 reserve driver next season after securing a super license but without the guarantee of any Grand Prix racing, he may be forced to take a season out of racing.
With Piastri being an Alpine Academy driver, his choice of seats in Formula One would have been very limited if he wanted to remain connected with the team. His academy and F2 counterpart Guanyu Zhou was handed a seat with Alfa Romeo, with many believing that the Chinese driver’s financial backing was a key reason behind his signing.
Piastri will probably be limited to where he can race next season with his role of reserve driver of Alpine never being more important with the pandemic, but there is a possibility of him racing for Alpine in the World Endurance Championship. This would keep him racing and linked to the F1 team.
If he doesn’t get a race seat for 2023, serious questions will have to be asked. How can a driver who has won three consecutive feeder series titles not be given a chance in Formula One when someone who has raced in F2 for multiple years with no real glory is handed a race seat? It’s not just Zhou, Nikita Mazepin wasn’t overly impressive in any feeder series either.
Hopefully, for the sake of Piastri’s potential, he will get his opportunity in Formula One in 2023. Replacing Fernando Alonso when his contract expires seems the be the most realistic option available to Piastri at the moment, but maybe a departure from the Alpine team after a stint as reserve driver will open more doors to him.