Reserve role means 2022 is “going to be a long year” for Piastri


In the round-up: Esteban Ocon sympathises with Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri who faces a year on the sidelines during the 2022 F1 season even if he wins the Formula 2 championship.

In brief

Opportunity could come suddenly for Piastri in reserve role

Ocon spent a year out of the F1 cockpit in 2019 after losing his drive with Racing Point and was unable to return until Renault, now Alpine, picked him up for 2020.

Alpine confirmed last week its reserve drive Piastri, who is currently leading the F2 standings, will not graduate to F1 next year. Ocon said Piastri “doesn’t really need advice from me” on his F1 future, but sympathised with the junior driver’s situation.

“He’s there, he’s listening, he’s curious, he’s going to be there most of the time that we drive. So it’s going to be a long year for him, for sure.”

Ocon, who scored a shock win in this year’s Hungarian Grand Prix, said Piastri should take heart that “you never know in F1, opportunity can rise up quite quickly.”

Olli Caldwell joins Campos for remaining 2021 F2 rounds

Olli Caldwell will fill the vacant Campos F2 seat, relinquished by David Beckmann at Campos due to funding reasons, for the final two triple-header events of the season. Beckmann admitted in September that a split with earlier team Charouz was due to lack of funds to compete and despite stepping into a role with Campos, the number 20 car will have another new driver in Jeddah and Abu Dhabi.

Caldwell came eighth in this year’s Formula 3 championship, taking one win and an additional three podiums and was in a position to challenge for the title until the final rounds. He is understood to have been in discussion with multiple F2 teams and may not stay with Campos for the 2022 season.

Moreno and Blakely win F1 Esports rounds

Bardia Broumand took pole at the Zandvoort round for McLaren Shadow but was beaten off the line by Red Bull’s Frederik Rasmussen, who neatly took the lead into turn one. Rasmussen led for much of the race, before Mercedes’ Dani Moreno made a move work around the banking on lap 19 of 25. Moreno led the field home.

Lucas Blakely took the win in the earlier race for Aston Martin, powering away from the field from pole and crossing the chequered flag with an impressive lead.

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Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Matt Aitch, Sozavele and Swapnil Aman!

On this day in motorsport

  • 25 years ago today Alessandro Nannini tested a Benetton F1 car for the first time since the 1990 helicopter crash which severed his right arm. He drove a B196 fitted with power steering in a two-day test.



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