Aussie F3 champion Oscar Piastri to follow in Ricciardo’s footsteps with F1 test in Bahrain

2020 Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri is set for his first drive in an F1 car on October 30 in Bahrain as he pushes for a 2022 berth in F1.

The 19-year-old Melburnian joined the Renault Sport Academy in January 2020 and took out the F3 championship with a seventh place finish in the final event of the season for the class.

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In his first season with Prema Racing, Piastri claimed two race wins and six podiums as he took out championship and put his name up in lights.

And Renault have high hopes for the Aussie with the Academy director Mia Sharizman laying out a two year plan for the Aussie to reach Formula One.

“For Oscar, in this case, what we expect for him is not just a taste of (Formula 1). It is a reward, firstly, for winning the (F3) title but giving him a first day is already a plan for us for the next two years with the ultimate aim of driving in Formula 1 with us as a race driver,” Sharizman said. “So, this is just the first day of many for him.

“Oscar will be experiencing his first time in a Formula 1 car as a reward for winning the FIA Formula 3 title plus it is part of his continued progression in the Academy.

“The plan for the testing days often varies depending on experience, so Oscar’s day will be about getting him up to speed and familiar with the car.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to show the progression and level of achievement of the drivers in the Academy.”

Oscar Piastri after winning in Barcelona.Source:Getty Images

Piastri will drive on the second day of testing and will get behind the wheel of Renault’s R. S. 18 car and appears to be heading in the same direction as Ricciardo.

Piastri will be one of three drivers to get behind the wheel alongside fellow academy drivers Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou.

Ricciardo, who currently drives for Renault in F1 before a move to McLaren for 2021, first tested in an F1 car in 2009 before debuting in 2011.

Piastri will move up to the F2 championship in 2021, and although he hasn’t confirmed which team he will drive for, he is expected to continue with Prema, with 2020 driver Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman expected to get F1 drives next season.

Piastri said he would cherish his first taste of Formula One.

“Obviously, it will be my first test in a Formula 1 car, so it will definitely be a moment to cherish and remember for a very long time.

“It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to drive an F1 car, so I am very grateful to the team for the opportunity. There will be lots to learn on the day, such as getting used to the power, downforce and braking of the car and it will all be a challenge, but I love tackling new ones.

“I drove the Bahrain circuit earlier this year when we did the FIA Formula 3 pre-season test, but I’ve obviously never lapped the circuit in an F1 car, so I can’t wait to get out on track.”

And Piastri has a good person in his corner with Ricciardo a fan of the youngster.

“I only met Oscar in the off-season. We were both at Enstone together, so I got to meet him. As a person he seems like a good kid, head screwed on, pretty low maintenance. I’d say pretty chilled,” Ricciardo said of Piastri.

“It’s cool to see some Aussies back in there. There was a chunk in F3 this year, I think four of them. So awesome that one could win.

“I know Mark [Webber] has been looking after him a little bit, and I’m sure giving him some guidance. So you can see it’s paid off. So I’m very happy for Oscar.”

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