Alpine has announced academy driver Oscar Piastri will drive for the team in the Formula 1 post-season young driver test in Abu Dhabi.
Last month Piastri was confirmed as Alpine’s official reserve driver for next season, following a stellar debut campaign in Formula 2.
The Australian leads the drivers’ championship by 51.5 points ahead of the final round this weekend after winning two of the three races in Saudi Arabia.
Although Piastri failed to land an F1 seat for next year, Alpine said the test “will build towards his 2022 role with a day behind the wheel of the race winning A521 car.”
“I’m very excited to drive in the Young Driver Test,” Piastri said. “It’s almost like my first official day in my new job for next year when I become the Team’s Reserve Driver.
“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 is clear Piastri will play a key role in helping the French outfit prepare for the 2022 major regulations changes over the two-day test, as well as continue is own personal development.
“Oscar has had a fantastic Formula 2 season this year, again showing his class, and this Young Driver Test appearance is well earned.” Rossi said.
“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.”
Alpine also confirmed current drivers Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon would be behind the wheel of a 2018-spec car to get accustomed to Pirelli’s new 18 inch tyres.