Oscar Piastri’s sights set on F2 for 2021
Newly-crowned Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri has his sights set on promotion to Formula 2 for the 2021 season.
Finishing in style ?
— Formula 3 (@FIAFormula3) September 13, 2020
The PREMA driver, who took the Formula 3 title in the final race at Mugello, is looking to move up to the second-tier of single-seater racing and a future in Formula 1.
Piastri, who is managed by nine-time Formula 1 race winner and compatriot Mark Webber, will be hopeful that his title success will secure him a seat with one of the top teams in F2.
Webber, who also manages former GP2 driver and current Panasonic Jaguar Formula E driver Mitch Evans, spoke to Wide World of Sports back in early September where he confirmed that negotiations to secure a drive for next year had already begun.
The natural stepping stone for Piastri would be to remain with PREMA, who he helped to take the Formula 3 teams’ championship this year alongside teammates Logan Sargeant and Frederik Vesti.
He would be following in the footsteps of 2019 Formula 3 champion Robert Shwartzman, who stayed with PREMA for his rookie season in Formula 2.
However, his options for 2021 are very much dependent on possible promotions to Formula 1 for current PREMA drivers Mick Schumacher and Shwartzman.
Schumacher, who currently leads the Formula 2 Championship, is widely expected to be promoted to Alfa Romeo next year possibly alongside 2007 world champion Kimi Räikkönen. However, Alfa Romeo have not yet confirmed their plans for their 2021 lineup.
Furthermore, there are rumours that Shwartzman or fellow Ferrari Academy driver Callum Ilott could be drafted in at Haas to replace either Romain Grosjean or Kevin Magnussen. Nevertheless, Haas have made no announcements of their plans for next year as of yet.
Promotions for Schumacher or Shwartzman would put Piastri in prime position to fill the seat as the Formula 3 champion will be an attractive prospect for many of the teams looking to mount a title campaign next year.
The strong breadth of talent in Formula 2 this year means that competition for seats on the grid will be high and with many strong rookie drivers, as 10 of 22 drivers who competed last time out in Mugello are in their maiden season, 2021 may see many of them return to some of the top teams.
Nevertheless, Piastri seemed to be pretty calm when asked by Wide World of Sports about where he will be on the grid, he said:
“But there’s options on the table, and definitely no guarantee I’ll be at Prema next year.”
Having won the Formula Renault Eurocup title last year, adding the Formula 3 title to his CV makes his spot in Formula 2 next year pretty much a formality.
If he is on the grid next year, Piastri will definitely be one to watch and could be a favourite to undertake a very successful rookie campaign and take his third championship title in as many years.
With Fernando Alonso returning to Renault, which will be rebranded as Alpine for next season, and current driver Esteban Ocon’s future at the French manufacturer not being confirmed beyond 2021 as of yet. Oscar Piastri will be hoping to put his best foot forward to join fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo on the F1 grid in 2022.
However, he will face stiff competition from fellow Renault Academy and current Formula 2 drivers Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou.
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*Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited