Australia’s Oscar Piastri is a step closer to a Formula One drive, after signing with leading team Prema for the 2021 F2 season.
It’s the same outfit that took the 19-year-old to the F3 title this year, while the team is also on the verge of wrapping up the F2 title, with Mick Schumacher holding the championship lead ahead of this weekend’s final round.
Piastri is set to step straight into Schumacher’s shoes, with the German seemingly headed to Formula One in 2021 with the Haas team.
“I’m super excited to be racing with Prema in the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship,” Piastri said.
“We had a very successful 2020 season, winning the Formula 3 championship together, and I’m hoping for another successful year with them.
“Prema has proven to be the team to beat once again in F2 this year, so I’m extremely happy to be moving into the championship with them.
“I’m very grateful to stay a part of the Prema family, and I’m looking forward to plenty more pizza and pasta!”
Piastri will get his first taste of the F2 car next week, with the teams conducting a three-day test in Bahrain.
It comes on the back of his successful F1 test for Renault at the same track just over a month ago.
“We are delighted to welcome Oscar to our FIA Formula 2 team,” said Prema boss René Rosin.
“Not only is he a talented racer with outstanding speed skills, he has a clear understanding of the complexities of today’s motorsports and he is extremely adaptable.
“Having witnessed his progress and success throughout the 2020 season, taking our relationship to the next step for the 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship felt like the natural thing to do and we look forward to having him on-track right from Bahrain.”
Piastri made a big impression in his rookie F3 season, securing the title at the final round in Mugello. He follows in the footsteps of the likes of Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc in winning the prestigious title.
His manager, grand prix winner Mark Webber, told Wide World of Sports recently that the Melbourne-born teenager could be on the F1 grid sooner rather than later.
Piastri is a member of the Renault Sport Academy, with the team indicating that his recent taste of F1 was far from a one-off appearance. He also attended the recent Turkish Grand Prix to observe how drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon prepared over a weekend.