Alpine to run F2 championship leader Piastri at Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test
F2 championship leader Oscar Piastri will take the wheel of this year’s Alpine A521 at next week’s Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test.
Alpine promoted Piastri, who leads Robert Shwartzman by 51.5 points with one F2 round to go, to reserve for next season with an extensive testing programme as part of his training for a future F1 seat involved in the role.
The Australian will do one day of running next Tuesday at Yas Island, following the conclusion to the 2021 F1 season on Sunday.
Alpine race drivers Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso will have a day's testing apiece (on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively) in a two-year-old R.S.18, running new-for-2022 18-inch tyres as part of Pirelli’s test plan that is taking place in parallel at the Abu Dhabi circuit.
Piastri said: “I’m very excited to drive in the Young Driver Test. It’s almost like my first official day in my new job for next year when I become the team’s reserve driver.
This test will be part of Oscar’s ongoing development as he prepares to become the team’s reserve driver for 2022
“Any day in an F1 car is pretty special but to drive the current one with other drivers on track in a somewhat competitive environment is very cool. Thanks to the team for this opportunity, I’m certainly looking forward to it and working through a very full testing programme on the day.”
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi added: “Oscar has had a fantastic Formula 2 season this year, again showing his class, and this Young Driver Test appearance is well earned.
“This test will be part of Oscar’s ongoing development as he prepares to become the team’s reserve driver for 2022, to aid and assist Fernando and Esteban and our development teams on and off the track.
“In parallel, as Oscar gets up to speed with the current car, we will already be looking forward to 2022 with our current drivers as they experience the new 18” tyres for next year. It’s a good opportunity for us to learn in preparation for the challenges of the next year on all fronts.”