Even if he is heading towards the F2 title a year after winning the F3, Oscar Piastri will not be entitled to an F1 wheel next year: Alpine has extended Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, while Alfa Romeo has chosen to hire the more fortunate Guanyu Zhou.
However, the Australian is not at all bitter: he knows that he has nothing to be ashamed of, that he has ticked all the boxes, but in F1, the athlete does not do everything …
« I made peace with that 99% » thus entrusted Piastri.
“Of course there will always be that lingering conviction, which says I should be on the F1 grid next year. I knew from the start that my chances of being in F1 next season were very slim. «
At least Piastri will have a role next year that will prepare him for a future tenure in the team of his Academy: he will be a reserve driver at Alpine F1.
“If you can’t be on the F1 starting grid, the best thing to do is be a reserve driver. So from the start, that’s what I wanted to aim for and what we were working on. «
“It took a long time and once we were like ‘OK F1 for next year is not going to happen unless there is a miracle’ getting a reserve driver position for Alpine was our number one goal. one for next year. «
As for knowing if he is angry with Guanyu Zhou for having been established for having, no longer merit, but more financial support, Piastri is constant: he accepts and does not resent the Chinese at all.
“Zhou is a great guy. He is very friendly off the track. «
“Firstly, we didn’t bump into each other on the track, it’s practical! «
“Second, I’m sure someone like Zhou would leave what happened on the track on the track and be perfectly fine off the track. «
“Our relationship has therefore been excellent since I joined Alpine, or Renault, last year. And there is certainly no hard feelings on my part against him. «
“And obviously Zhou has some financial backing behind him, but it’s not his fault that someone is willing to bring him into F1. So I don’t blame him personally for that. And he’s having a good year too. He is second in the championship, with three wins. «
“It’s not like it’s undeserved for him. So on my side, no, there is no « you stole my seat » feeling. «
Fortunately Piastri received a lot of support before and after Alfa Romeo’s announcement, which bodes well for 2023 and beyond … but he is taking these precautions carefully!
“You can’t really take too much of that kind of compliment with yourself because it’s just self-destructive to yourself and to any relationship. So naturally, you have to be a little careful with this stuff. «
“But it was great to have the support of the people. And in a way, especially when I found out early enough that F1 seemed pretty unrealistic, seeing all this stuff from the people fighting for me was nice to see. «
“I think at that point I felt an injustice that we were halfway through the season and I wasn’t going to have my chance in F1 next year, even though I was leading the championship. «
“So receiving this support was a bit pleasant. This is the main positive point that emerged. «