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Will F1® driver seat shenanigans see Oscar Piastri on the grid next season?

22/10/21

Could we see two Aussie's on the grid in Melbourne 2022?

It isn't called the silly season for no reason.

The final seat on the Formula 1® grid for 2022 remains in the hands of Alfa Romeo, with no confirmation yet as to whether Antonio Giovinazzi will keep his drive, or whether it would go to another driver.


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Multiple drivers have been linked to the remaining seat – alongside Valterri Bottas – however, Chinese driver Guanyu Zhou is the favourite. Zhou is in his third season of the FIA Formula 2 Championship™ and sits second in the standings, behind Australian Oscar Piastri.

Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur said at last week's Turkish Grand Prix that taking Piastri wouldn't make sense, given he's a member of the Alpine Academy. However, Zhou is in the same Alpine program as Piastri.

To further complicate the situation, former IndyCar champion Michael Andretti is rumoured to be considering purchasing a controlling stake in Alfa Romeo.

Mark Webber - who manages Piastri - joined the 'F1® Nation' podcast last week, and indicated in the discussion that the final seat for 2022 wasn't quite settled.

"Well, mate, let's see, it's going to be an interesting few months, nothing is totally sorted yet, there's still a little bit of shenanigans to be sorted out, and that could fall in his favour," he said.


"The Alfa seat is moving around, we see now Andretti floating around in terms of maybe investment – so, wow," Webber said.

"It's an interesting last seat, mate, in terms of dynamic, but does he [Piastri] deserve to be in F1? Absolutely. We all know that.

"It's not a question of if but when."

"Alpine are very, very keen on him, Alpine do not want him to slip through their fingers to say the least, they're sort of looking to try to re-engage and commit to the future.

"It's not done yet but they're trying very, very hard to keep Oscar happy for the future, and that's something that we're going through as we speak."

"F1's not a finishing school, you have to arrive there as the best product you can possibly be and then start contributing straight away to the team's performance," he said.

"And that's something which I believe Oscar will absolutely do.

"The more heat you put on, the deeper water you put him in, the more laptops you put around him, the more people, he just starts to soak it up. And some drivers go the other way – junior categories, they like it, but when you start to put the heat on then they don't like it."


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