Formula 2 championship leader Piastri was named Alpine’s new reserve driver for next year earlier this week, which thwarted any hopes of a possible promotion to F1.
Piastri was originally supposed to spend two seasons in both Formula 3 and F2, but won the F3 title straight away with Prema last year and is now leading the F2 classification with 36 points in four remaining races.
Speaking to select media outlets, including Autosport, at the Losail International Circuit ahead of the Qatar Grand Prix this weekend, Piastri announced that he will have a year without a racing seat ahead of him.
“At the moment I don’t think so,” said Piastri when asked whether he would start next year.
“I want to focus on getting into F1. I think to be in the paddock as often as possible, to be in the paddock with Alpine as often as possible, for me, even when I’m not racing, I think that that is equally important for my goal of getting into F1, if not more beneficial.
“As much as I’ll miss the race because I don’t think I won’t be racing next year, I think there is a bigger picture to see and focus on being in F1 first and foremost.”
Piastri added: “I will not be returning to the F2 next year.”
Piastri said back in September that he would consider a year on the sidelines to get going with Alpine.
The team has currently signed Esteban Ocon, while two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has signed for the 2022 season.
Oscar Piastri, Prema Racing, Guanyu Zhou, Uni-Virtuosi Racing, Ralph Boschung, Campos Racing
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport pictures
Piastri said the team is working on putting together “a fairly extensive testing program” to ensure he is “driving reasonably frequently”.
“Okay, it won’t be a race, but if it’s a distraction of some kind and results in me missing every chance with Alpine in the F1 paddock, then honestly I’m not particularly interested,” said Piastri.
“As strange as that is for me to say, I would rather not race and concentrate fully on my role as reserve driver, with the aim of getting into F1 in the near future, instead of trying and taking everything differently.” concentrate a bit on getting into F1. “
The regulations for next year dictate that teams must use a young rider in at least two training sessions, which makes it likely that Piastri will get the chance to be part of a racing weekend with Alpine, but he said the plans haven’t yet would have to be confirmed.
“Of course we’re talking about the young drivers in the FP1s, but that’s all I know at the moment,” said Piastri.
“I don’t know how many there will be. I would like to think that as a reserve driver I would do this FP1 for young drivers.
“I would have to take a closer look at it and talk to Alpine about it, but at the moment I think it will be the young driver [tests] and see if there is more. “