Mark Webber says the ladder in the Formula 1 feeder series is flawed if its Formula 2 and Formula 3 champions do not reach the top of motor racing.
The comments come when the newly crowned FIA Formula 2 championship winner Oscar Piastri is put on the sidelines in 2022.
Although the 20-year-old will not be driving next year, he will still have excursions in Formula 1 cars with Alpine as the reserve and test driver.
In the five years it has been known as Formula 2 (formerly the GP2 Series), three of its five championships – Charles Leclerc, George Russell and Mick Schumacher – have been graduated to Formula 1.
Nyck De Vries, who beat Nicholas Latifi for the Formula 2 title in 2019, never reached the step up to Formula 1, but was a Mercedes test and reserve driver.
A handful of others, including Lando Norris, Alex Albon, Yuki Tsunoda, Nikita Mazepin, Sergey Sirotkin and Latifi have taken the transition from Formula 2 to Formula 1.
Piastri’s sharp rise is as good as Leclerc and Russell, all three of whom won the Formula 3 and Formula 2 titles in their first season.
Featuring in episode 3 of the KTM Summer Grill, Piastri’s manager and mentor Webber said the young gun should be first in line when a Formula 1 seat becomes available.
Asked whether it was a matter of time before Piastri graduated from Formula 1, Webber replied: “You would think so, otherwise everyone in Formula 2 and Formula 3 is wasting their time.
“If you have someone reviewing what Oscar did, then what’s the point of doing what he did if you do not finish in the end? I think it’s a question of when, not if. in an arrogant way, it just has to be that way.
“The system works and I know Stefano Domenicali [Formula 1 CEO] is across it. He knows that Oscar should definitely have the fruit of his success through the junior categories, and of course Alpine and all the junior categories know that this is something that needs to be addressed.
“Oscar should be and will be the first cab to retreat from the rankings when the market opens.”
Piastri was in the mix to join Alfa Romeo, though that seat ultimately went the same way as Alpine Academy rider Guanyu Zhou.
The Chinese driver finished in third place for Piastri in this year’s FIA Formula 2 Championship with UNI Virtuosi Racing.
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