New Formula Two champion Oscar Piastri has ended his dazzling junior career with one final win as the Australian motor racing prodigy sped to victory in the feature race in Abu Dhabi.
Piastri, who had sealed the season-long title in Saturday’s first sprint event with two races to spare, celebrated on Sunday with the sixth win of his dominant season.
“The final race of F2 for the year is done and we managed to win the race, which his fantastic,” said the delighted 20-year-old Melbourne driver.
“It is a great way to end the year and a great way to end my junior career.
“Thank you everyone for your support and all of your messages after winning the Championship. I have still got thousands unopened.
“It was very good to end the season on a high, I’ll hopefully see you at some point on a grid in the future.”
— Rhonda Gwyther💉💉 (@rfgwyther) December 12, 2021
It was the perfect ending to the year for Piastri, who has stamped his world-beating driving credentials for the third year running but can’t hide his frustration that the only title he can gain next year is as “couch champion”.
For Piastri, whose F2 triumph has come after his Formula Three win last year and Formula Renault title in 2019, will next year be acting only as a Formula One reserve driver, supporting Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon at Alpine.
“Hopefully, I can be champion of sitting on the couch next year,” said Piastri, offering a smile which couldn’t disguise the prospect of a year of frustration.
But he made it clear he won’t be happy being kept out of the Formula One action for long as he seeks to quickly follow in the wheel tracks of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and future Mercedes racer George Russell, who were also back-to-back F3/F2 winners.
To back. https://t.co/INhGjsB7sb
— Oscar Piastri (@OscarPiastri) December 11, 2021
“I have certainly done everything in my power to present my case for an F1 race seat,” said Piastri.
“I said at the beginning of this year, I thought results could barge my way into an F1 race seat somewhere. Clearly that has not worked out.
“Of course, it is a bit disappointing I won’t be making the jump directly and I really, really hope that I’m on the grid in 2023.
“I’d be pretty annoyed – for a PG version of my comments – if I wasn’t on the grid in 2023, because I have run out of things to prove myself with.”
Once again, the PREMA Racing driver Piastri showed his class from pole on Sunday by leading from start to finish but he had to push in the closing stages to seal his win.
Piastri even had to overcome drama before the race had started as he damaged his front wing on his way to the grid, requiring his team to change the nose.
His victory saw him end the F2 championship on 252.5 points, a remarkably dominant 60.5 points clear of runner-up, Russian teammate Robert Schwartzman.
Piastri’s fellow Australian Jack Doohan, who’d worked wonders in only his second race to get on to the front row, didn’t have such a good day when he ended up spinning off the track and hitting the barriers.
Happily, the teenage son of former motorcycling great Mick Doohan, was able to climb from his car unscathed.