Oscar Piastri has officially ended all the links to the Alfa Romeo seat, signing as Alpine’s reserve driver for the 2022 season.
The reigning Formula 3 champion has continued to make fine progress in 2021 and, with six races to go, currently leads the Formula 2 World Championship.
His continued rise through the ranks had put his name on the shortlist for the remaining Alfa Romeo seat alongside Valtteri Bottas in 2022, but we can now put a line through that.
That is because he has been officially confirmed as Alpine’s reserve driver next year, with the team saying the Aussie will have an ‘extensive testing programme to continue his preparation and training for a future Formula 1 race seat’.
And a future Formula 1 race seat is what Piastri firmly has his eyes on, saying the main aim now is to join the grid in 2023.
Aussie, Aussie, Aussie 💪 @OscarPiastri is SIGNED as our Reserve Driver for 2022. Congratulations on your #AlpineAcademy graduation, Oscar, welcome to the Race Team.@AlpineRacing pic.twitter.com/3XhFAcCf0z
— Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) November 16, 2021
“I’m super excited to be joining Alpine F1 Team as reserve driver,” said Piastri.
“I’m looking forward to being much more involved with the team and contributing to its intended success next season.
“The reserve driver role is the next step towards my aim for a race seat in 2023, which is very exciting.
“I’ve proved myself in the junior formulas over the last couple of years and feel like I’m ready for Formula 1 now along with the trackside experience at race weekends, we will put together a substantial test programme in order to keep developing myself to grow even more prepared for a race seat.
“I’m very thankful to Alpine for their support.
“We’ve enjoyed two very successful seasons together in the Academy and I’m grateful for the faith they’ve put in me for this next step with an eye on a bigger future.
“My focus now is finishing the Formula 2 Championship in the best possible way with Prema and I’m looking forward to being back in the car and pushing hard on track.”
With Piastri officially no longer in contention for the Alfa Romeo seat, it paves a clear path for Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou to be announced as the final driver on the 2022.
An announcement is widely expected today.