Australian Formula 1 driver Oscar Piastri says being able to learn from Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon will be key to taking the next step towards becoming a full-time F1 racer.
Piastri, 20, is the reserve driver for the BWT Alpine F1 Team this year and is working side-by-side with two-time world champion Alonso and Grand Prix race-winner Ocon as he edges a step closer to an F1 race seat after winning the FIA Formula 2 title last year.
Speaking to the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix’s In the Fast Lane podcast, Piastri said watching the 40-year-old Alonso, who made his F1 debut in Australia a month before Piastri was born in 2001, and Ocon has already provided plenty of insight as to what’s required of an F1 racer.
“Fernando, with all his experience, and Esteban, who’s a race-winner as well, it’s an amazing opportunity to be able to learn from those guys and really ask them questions,” Piastri said.
“That’s probably the main area I want to develop as much as I can, learn how they go about things. Fernando has been through a lot of very different rule changes before so it’s been very eye-opening watching how he’s been going about that.”
Piastri will return to his hometown of Melbourne for the first Formula 1 Australia n Grand Prix in three years from 8-10 April, a ‘pinch-me’ moment for a driver who grew up close enough to the circuit to hear the cars in action.
“The first memories I have of Albert Park are from before I attended the race … watching (the cars) on TV and then running out to the backyard and hearing them,” he said.
“It’s been a long time coming for Melbourne to be back on the calendar, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m not on the grid this year so it’s not fully my first (home) Grand Prix, but to have that experience as even a reserve driver is going to be pretty special.”
The In the Fast Lane podcast is available on Spotify, Google and Apple Podcast platforms.