Piastri pessimistic of F1 chances in 2022
By Mat Coch
Monday 20th September, 2021 - 1:42pm
Australian Formula 1 hopeful Oscar Piastri is not optimistic of his chances of securing a seat with Alfa Romeo Sauber for next season.
Aside from Haas, which is set to retain Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin for a second year, Alfa Romeo is the only squad with an unconfirmed seat for 2022.
Piastri is one of those linked with the drive, as are Antonio Giovinazzi, Guanyu Zhou, and Callum Ilott.
The 20-year-old Aussie currently leads the FIA Formula 2 Championship and claimed victory in the Feature Race at Monza last time out.
Despite that, he remains on the outer with regards to a potential F1 berth.
“I don’t really have anything to lose,” Piastri said.
“To be honest, I have no idea what the situation on that seat is, which probably indicates how likely that that move would be.
“But it doesn’t really add any pressure – if anything, it just gives me more drive to want to perform in F2.”
Should he go on and win the championship, it leaves the Melburnian in a quandary, with the F2 title winner unable to return the following season.
Without an F1 contract it’s quite possible that Piastri would be forced to sit on the sidelines for a year, or look down a different avenue.
“It’s not an ideal situation, I think we can all agree on that,” the Alpine Academy member confessed.
“But I don’t want to get ahead of myself and start thinking about that.
“We’ve still got a long way to go and a lot of things can change.
“Obviously, I think everybody knows that we’d all like to be in F1 as soon as we can, but motorsport’s pretty brutal and you’ve got to roll with the punches.
“Who knows; it might not be a year out, it might be a year doing something else. I still have to win the championship to make those decisions, so it’s not over at all, but it’s not ideal.”
Success in this year’s championship fight would be the third title win in as many years, Piastri having won the FIA Formula 3 Championship last year, and the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019.
In his rookie season he’s matched, if not bettered, his more experienced Academy colleague, Zhou, though it is the Chinese driver who appears the front-runner for the seat alongside Valtteri Bottas.
“I think I’ve done a good job of putting myself in a pretty prime position for an F1 seat,” Piastri reasoned.
“I’ve won two championships in a row and leading a third.
“We’re still only halfway through this F2 year, so a lot can still change but all the moves in F1 are happening now or have already happened.
“It’s a bit disappointing the way it’s kind of played out because I really don’t know what more I could have done,” he added.
“It’s been a pretty tough few weeks watching everything unfold and not really be involved at all, given the position I’m in, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
“I think it probably is just a case of bad timing, but I still want to try and win this championship.
“I’ve had a few suggestions of purposely not winning it to do another year, but that’s just silly and I want to win the championship.
“I think if I do win the championship, I’d be pretty annoyed if something at some point in the future didn’t arise from that.”
The FIA Formula 2 Championship is in action again this weekend, supporting the Formula 1 Russian Grand Prix in Sochi.