Formula 2 championship leader Piastri was named the new Alpine reserve driver for next year earlier this week, putting an end to all hopes of a potential F1 move.

Piastri was originally scheduled to spend two seasons in F3 and F2, but won the F3 title in the first attempt last year with Prema, and now leads the F2 standings by 36 points with four races remaining.

Speaking to some media, including Motorsport.com, at the Losail International Circuit ahead of this weekend’s Qatar Grand Prix, Piastri revealed he is set to face a year without a racing seat.

“At the moment I don’t think so,” Piastri said when asked if he will be racing next year.

“I want to focus on F1. I think to be in the paddock as often as possible, to be in the paddock with Alpine as much as I can, for me, even if I don’t run, I think it’s just as well otherwise more beneficial to my goal of reaching F1.

“As much as I am going to miss the race, because I don’t think I will be racing anything next year, I think there is a bigger picture to look at and focus on F1 first. “

Piastri added: “I will not return to F2 next year.”

Piastri said in September that he would consider spending a year on the sidelines to familiarize himself with Alpine.

The team have currently signed a long-term contract with Esteban Ocon, while two-time world champion Fernando Alonso has signed up for the 2022 season.

Oscar Piastri, Prema Racing, Guanyu Zhou, Uni-Virtuosi Racing, Ralph Boschung, Campos Racing

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport images

Piastri said the team is working on a “fairly comprehensive testing program” to ensure it “drives reasonably frequently.”

“Okay, it’s not going to be racing, but again, if it’s going to be any distraction and mean I’m missing out on opportunities with Alpine in the F1 paddock, then I’m not particularly interested in being honest.” said Piastri.

“As strange as it may be to say, I would rather not race and focus fully on my role as a reserve driver with the aim of trying to reach F1 in the near future, rather than splashing around everywhere else and take some of my focus on F1. “

Next year’s regulations require teams to have a young driver participate in at least two practice sessions, making it likely that Piastri will have the chance to be part of a racing weekend with Alpine, but he said the plans have yet to be confirmed.

“Obviously we’re talking about the young FP1 rider, but that’s all I know for now,” said Piastri.

“I don’t know how much it will be. I would like to think that as a reserve rider I would do these young FP1 riders.

“I would have to lean more into this and talk to Alpine about it, but for now I think it will be the young rider. [tests] and see if there are more. “


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