Piastri’s determination stars in Chasing the Dream
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 1st March, 2022 - 7:00pm
The 2021 season was one in which Oscar Piastri learned what it takes to be a Formula 1 driver.
It’s a process detailed in the third season of Chasing the Dream, with one of the six episodes centring on the Australian.
Piastri last year shot to stardom by winning the FIA Formula 2 Championship in his rookie year, seeing off the likes of Guanyu Zhou, Theo Pourchaire, Dan Ticktum, Robert Shwartzman, and Liam Lawson.
His progress was followed closely by the team behind Chasing the Dream, which is the F2 equivalent of Formula 1’s Drive to Survive, to be released on F1TV tonight.
“It’s always tricky when you go from the smaller cars, F3, then into the bigger stuff, you just never know how a young kid’s career is going to do with the transition,” said Mark Webber in Episode 4 of the series.
The nine-time grand prix winner is one of a number of experts chiming in on Piastri’s development throughout the episode which also offers context into the importance of joining an F1 academy.
“It starts to build a picture in your young head of what the responsibilities are, what level of professionalism is required, whether there’s media, whether there’s of course fitness, whether there’s travel and planning and all the rest of it,” Webber explained.
Alongside Webber are the likes of Mia Sharizman, the man in charge of the Alpine Academy, Daniel Ricciardo, and Bruno Michel, the CEO of Formula 2 and Formula 3.
“The beauty of Formula 2 is that it’s not such a complicated car, it’s not such a complicated championship,” explained Michel.
“What makes the real difference between the teams is this capacity to attract drivers.
“Talking about George [Russell] and Charles [Leclerc], it’s always the kind of example I’m giving because they were rookies and winning as a rookie [in Formula 2] is something outstanding.”
Piastri joined the Alpine Academy off the back of winning the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019, going on to win the Formula 3 Championship in a nail-biting finale at Mugello the following season.
Remaining with Prema, he graduated to Formula 2 where he duly proved his competitive worth at the first round in Bahrain.
And while winning in just his second F2 race was a dream start, it was his attitude off track that caught the eye of those around him.
“It’s impressive how he wants to keeps soaking up and working on the things which… often it’s enough, but he is still not accepting that is enough – he wants to keep getting more out of himself, which is a great quality to have,” Webber noted.
“They’re getting younger and younger obviously, in all sports over the world – football, tennis, golf, motorsport’s not immune to bring them on at a younger age as well because the offline capabilities are so much more advanced than what I had coming through.”
Following his success in last year’s Formula 2 Championship, Piastri has this year been signed as the Alpine Formula 1 team’s reserve driver.
Season 3 of Chasing the Dream is available from 19:00 AEDT tonight on F1TV.