What’s next for Australia’s Oscar Piastri?
He’s in contention to win his third consecutive championship in a row, with an impressive rookie season so far in Formula 2.
Piastri won the Formula 3 championship on his first attempt and also secured the European Formula Renault Eurocup title back in 2019.
It’s a bit of a surprise that the Melbournian is not being discussed much in the F1® drivers’ market.
Only one more F1® seat remains for 2022 at Alfa Romeo, so it’s becoming increasingly likely that Piastri might miss out on a drive.
Should he win the F2 title this season, Piastri will not be eligible to continue racing in that championship due to the rules. That puts the Aussie in a tough position.
We’ve assessed the rising star’s options for next year.
Option 1: Another year in F2
Should Piastri miss out on the championship this year, that gives him the option to remain in F2.
With his impressive rookie season, he would no doubt be one of the favourites to take out the 2022 title.
It would provide him more opportunity to prove his worth to the F1® Team Principals and showcase his considerable talent on a big stage.
Option 2: Sign as a reserve driver
This is a very likely option for 2022.
Oscar could potentially become an Alpine reserve driver or approach a team like Williams for an opportunity.
This could be a great way for Piastri to get his foot in the door and put forward his case for a full-time drive the year after.
Option 3: Race in F1® for Alfa Romeo
This might be the best-case scenario for Piastri, although the Aussie does not currently seem to be a frontrunner to secure this drive.
Drivers such as Guanyu Zhou, Nyck de Vries and Nico Hulkenberg are the current favourites for the seat if Antonio Giovinazzi is not retained.
In order to be a contender, Piastri would have to do his talking on track to make himself irresistible to those in charge at Alfa Romeo.
It's also worth noting that Piastri is an Alpine development driver, so he may wish to maintain his loyalty to them and wait for a potential drive with the French team in 2023.
Option 4: Compete in a rival championship
Sitting out racing for a year would be a tough pill to swallow for Piastri.
He’s an open-wheel racer through and through so that makes his options for racing outside of F2 and F1® pretty limited.
Piastri could try out Formula E or DTM, but that’s a very unlikely scenario.
And those are Piastri’s likely options for 2022.
Although his F1® dream may not be realised for next year, it’s highly likely the Aussie will make his breakthrough eventually.
He’s done everything he can so far to make it a reality.