(GMM) Formula 1 is showing youngsters a “bad example” by locking Oscar Piastri out of the top category of motor racing for at least a year.
The Mark Webber-managed Australian 20-year-old has dominantly won this year’s Formula 2 championship at his first attempt – having last year won the FIA Formula 3 title, also as a rookie.
“Hopefully, I can be champion of sitting on the couch next year,” he smiled in Abu Dhabi.
Indeed, while fellow Alpine academy member Guanyu Zhou is stepping up to Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo next year, Piastri will have to be content with the full-time reserve role in 2022.
“I have certainly done everything in my power to present my case for a race seat,” said Piastri.
“I said at the beginning of this year that I thought results could barge my way into an F1 race seat somewhere. Clearly that has not worked out.
“Of course, it is a bit disappointing I won’t be making the jump directly but I really, really hope that I’m on the grid in 2023,” he added.
“For the PG version of my comments, I’d be pretty annoyed if I wasn’t on the grid in 2023, because I have run out of things to prove myself with.”
Renault-owned Alpine, however, has made clear that Piastri’s 2022 calendar will be full of F1 testing and simulation work, ahead of a likely race debut either with the Enstone based team or elsewhere for 2023.
“I want to keep my focus on F1 and make sure my face is in the paddock so people don’t forget about me,” said Piastri.
According to Dani Juncadella, a DTM driver and former F1 tester, leaving Piastri on the ‘couch’ is a black mark against Formula 1’s name.
“People complain that Verstappen is a bad example for young kids because he’s overly aggressive and ‘unsportsmanlike’,” said the Spaniard.
“But a bad example for young kids is Piastri not having a F1 seat in 2022,” he insisted.