Reigning Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri will step up to Formula 1 next year with Alpine, replacing the departing Fernando Alonso.
Piastri has been part of the Alpine fold since the team’s previous identity as Renault, and with the support if its young driver programme after winning the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup, he claimed the 2020 FIA Formula 3 and 2021 F2 titles.
In October 2020 he conducted his first F1 test with the team, then did private running on several more ocassions last year before being signed as Alpine’s reserve driver for 2022 last November.
“2023 driver line-up confirmed: Esteban Ocon [and] Oscar Piastri,” Alpine announced via Twitter.
“After four years as part of the Renault and Alpine family, reserve driver Oscar Piastri is promoted to a race seat alongside Esteban Ocon starting from 2023.”
Piastri’s promotion to a race seat makes him the first driver from the Alpine Academy and its predecessors to race for the Enstone-based F1 team since Robert Kubica, and the first to do so without aligning himself with a rival F1 team before that since Romain Grosjean in 2009.
The 21-year-old is managed by fellow Australian former F1 driver Mark Webber, and had they also been talking to McLaren about a race seat for next year after an option was signed that made Piastri available to McLaren as a reserve driver for this year.
A vacancy opened up at Alpine however when two-time champion Alonso decided to move to Aston Martin for 2023, in a move that was announced a day before Alpine secured Piastri’s signature.
Alpine’s team principal Otmar Szafnauer commented: “Oscar is a bright and rare talent. We are proud to have nurtured and supported him through the difficult pathways of the junior formulae. Through our collaboration over the past four years, we have seen him develop and mature into a driver who is more than capable of taking the step up to F1.
“As our reserve driver he has been exposed to the team at the track, factory and testing where he has shown the maturity, promise and speed to ensure his promotion to our second seat alongside Esteban [Ocon]. Together, we believe the duo will give us the continuity we need to achieve our long-term goal of challenging for wins and championships.”