A cryptic Instagram station from the brag of the Alpine Formula One squad has fixed the clearest denotation yet of wherever Australia's Oscar Piastri volition extremity up successful 2022.
The 20-year-old from Melbourne leads the F2 title heading into this weekend's circular successful Sochi, but appears to person already been passed implicit for an F1 thrust adjacent year.
There's lone 1 spot near connected the grid, that of Valtteri Bottas' teammate astatine Alfa Romeo, and Piastri past week admitted to Wide World of Sports that helium was improbable to get the drive.
Instead, China's Guanyu Zhou, presently 2nd down Piastri successful the F2 rubric race, is the favourite to unafraid the role, with his nationality and slope equilibrium capable to flooded the endowment spread betwixt Zhou and Piastri.
Mark Webber, who manages Piastri, precocious told Wide World of Sports that helium doubts Zhou has the quality to win successful F1 implicit the people of an full season.
Complicating matters is the information that Piastri and Zhou are some members of the Alpine Academy, though their way to F1 with that squad is presently blocked by Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
But a caller station by Alpine brag Laurent Rossi gives a hint arsenic to wherever the team's priorities whitethorn prevarication successful future.
Rossi posted a representation of Piastri aft his caller triumph astatine Monza, with the caption, "F1 behold: the aboriginal procreation of champions is rising."
It gives credence to the mentation that Piastri volition motion a woody to go Alpine's trial and reserve operator successful 2022, with a presumption to replacing Alonso successful 2023, a way that Piastri himself said was a "logical step".
Further helping his lawsuit is simply a determination by the athletics to mandate that teams indispensable tally rookie drivers successful a fig of Friday signifier sessions adjacent year, giving Alpine a accidental to easiness Piastri into F1.
The Australian's methodical attack to his racing has drawn comparisons to that of four-time satellite champion Alain Prost, who is simply a manager of the Alpine team.
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"It's comic you notation that," Piastri told Wide World of Sports.
"I've had a fewer radical accidental the aforesaid thing. Particularly successful the past fewer years I've won a mates of championships successful that fashion, conscionable by being consistent.
"Everyone understands being accordant is simply a captious portion of immoderate title challenge, and having present done that successful F3 past twelvemonth and Formula Renault the twelvemonth before, it confirms to maine that that's the champion approach."
This play is the archetypal clip he's been to Sochi, but Piastri isn't expecting to instrumentality excessively overmuch clip to get up to speed.
"I've done immoderate enactment successful the simulator, which is fundamentally each the prep you tin bash too watching YouTube videos of aged races there," helium said.
"It's going to beryllium a spot much challenging, peculiarly if it's wet, but I deliberation we've proved we tin beryllium speedy wherever we go."
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