Australian Oscar Piastri won the Formula 2 Title in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, his third successive crown on the road to Formula 1, but the Alpine Academy driver will have to wait to take the next big step.
The 20-year-old Melbourne-born driver went from 10th to third for the Prema team in a reverse-grid sprint race won by Indian Jehan Daruvala at Yas Marina to take the title with two races to spare.
Piastri, who has built up an unsurpassable 57.5 point lead after five wins and five pole positions, won the Formula Three title at the first attempt last year and the Formula Renault EuroCup in 2019.
He follows current Formula 1 drivers George Russell and Charles Leclerc as winners of back-to-back F3 or GP3 and F2 titles.
With no vacancies on the F1 starting grid, the Australian will be Alpine reserve driver next season, supporting race regulars Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon and fully embedded within the Renault-owned team.
“He is a huge talent. He possesses speed, racecraft, maturity and has huge potential for the future,” said Alpine chief executive Laurent Rossi.
“He is a valuable member of the Alpine team and we are looking forward to putting more of his talent into Formula 1 now in the next natural progression in his journey.”
Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski said this month that Piastri would be doing a lot of development and simulator work as well as track running next year.
“We´ll do a bespoke testing programme for him in Formula One cars, to make sure he really, really ramps up,” he said. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)