Alfa Romeo team manager Fred Vasseur has downplayed Oscar Piastri’s chances of joining the Swiss team next year, suggesting the Australian will eventually get his chance with Alpine.
Piastri has impressed this season and is currently leading the F2 championship, further establishing his reputation as one of the rising stars on the pitch following his victory in the F3 series last year.
Ferarri star Charles Leclerc supported the Australian to make a name for himself when he first got his shot in the top class and expressed disbelief as to why the 20-year-old Australian has not secured a place on an F1 team in 2022.
Piastri says more F1 opportunities await in 2021
However, there is only one place left on the F1 network for next year, where Alfa Romeo has not yet announced the identity of Valtteri Bottas’ teammate. Piastri recently told Wide World of Sports that he does not expect to get the call.
And Vasseur’s comments confirmed anything other than Australia’s concession and further emphasis on the notion that he will sign a test and reserve driver agreement with Alpine for 2022 with a view to replacing double world champion Fernando Alonso in the 2023 racing team.
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Favorite for the remaining seat for next year is the Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou, despite being topped by Piastri in the standings during his rookie season in F2. Vasseur was not under the illusion of Piastri’s talent and expects him to be taken on by a rival F1 team.
The Alfa Romeo boss added that it would make little sense for Alpine to bring the Australian through their junior system and then drop him to another team.
“Oscar does a very good job and has been very consistent over the last couple of weekends, but as far as I know he is associated with Renault or Alpine,” said Vasseur.
“If you invest in a driver for all the junior series and have a long-term program with him, I can not see the point in letting him go to another team, that would be strange,” he explained.
“He’s doing a very, very strong job, but it’s crystal clear that he’s one of the best in the field today, and he did a great job last year fighting until the last event,” he said. .
“He is one of the young kids who will definitely succeed in F1.”
While Alfa Romeo was expected to announce Bottas’ partner immediately, Vasseur confirmed that the team has postponed the decision for now.
“We are not in a hurry to make that decision,” he said. “We have a couple of options on the table and we have to take the time to decide, but we are not in a hurry.
“The situation will not change over the next few days and we will make a decision soon.”
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