Webber reveals surprise F1 twist for Aussie prodigy


9-time grand prix winner Mark Webber says Australia’s Oscar Piastri stays an opportunity of securing the final spot on the System One grid for 2022.

The 20-year-old is the most well liked prospect within the sport in the meanwhile. Having gained the F3 championship in 2020 as a rookie, he is on monitor to repeat the feat in F2 this 12 months, holding a 36-point lead with six races remaining.

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A championship win would see him be part of present F1 stars George Russell and Charles Leclerc as the one drivers to win each junior classes as a rookie.

However his street to F1 has been removed from clean, with only one spot on the grid remaining for 2022, with Alfa Romeo but to verify the identification of Valtteri Bottas’ teammate.

Piastri, who’s a part of the Alpine academy, instructed Huge World of Sports activities not too long ago that he did not count on to be within the operating for the Alfa Romeo drive, as a substitute focusing his power on securing a task as Alpine’s check and reserve driver, with a view to changing Fernando Alonso within the race crew in 2023.

That, nevertheless, shouldn’t be sure, with Alonso exhibiting no indicators of desirous to retire, though he’ll flip 41 halfway via subsequent season.

Chatting with the F1 Nation podcast, Webber, who manages Piastri, hinted at a shock transfer for 2022.

“Effectively, mate, let’s have a look at, it will be an fascinating few months, nothing is completely sorted but, there’s nonetheless just a little little bit of shenanigans to be sorted out, and that would fall in his favour,” he mentioned.

Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur mentioned ultimately week’s Turkish Grand Prix that taking Piastri would not make sense, given he is a member of the Alpine Academy. Nonetheless, China’s Guanyu Zhou, who’s the favorite to get the drive, can also be in the identical program with Piastri.

The waters had been additional muddied final week by experiences former IndyCar champion Michael Andretti is contemplating buying a controlling stake in Alfa Romeo.

“The Alfa seat is shifting spherical, we see now Andretti floating round by way of possibly funding – so, wow,” Webber mentioned.

“It is an fascinating final seat, mate, by way of dynamic, however does he [Piastri] should be in F1? Completely. Everyone knows that.

“It isn’t a query of if however when.”

“Alpine are very, very eager on him, Alpine are not looking for him to slide via their fingers to say the least, they’re form of trying to attempt to re-engage and decide to the longer term.

“It isn’t executed but however they’re attempting very, very arduous to maintain Oscar blissful for the longer term, and that is one thing that we’re going via as we converse.”

Webber identified that each F1 crew needed a younger, fast driver with 50 races underneath his belt, with most being reluctant to tackle a rookie and provides him a season or two to search out his toes.

“F1’s not a ending faculty, you need to arrive there as the very best product you may probably be after which begin contributing right away to the crew’s efficiency,” he mentioned.

“And that is one thing which I imagine Oscar will completely do.

“The extra warmth you placed on, the deeper water you place him in, the extra laptops you place round him, the extra folks, he simply begins to soak it up. And a few drivers go the opposite approach – junior classes, they prefer it, however if you begin to put the warmth on then they do not prefer it.”

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