Oscar Piastri victim of a “broken” Formula 1 system according to Will Power
As reigning F2 champion Oscar Piastri watched F1 testing from the touchline, former F1 hopeful Will Power said it shows “the system is somehow broken”.
Piastri won the Formula 3 championship in 2020 and moved up to Formula 2, backed by Alpine.
The Australian won the title in his debut season, his third league title in a row as he also won the 2019 Formula Renault Eurocup.
And yet, this season, he finds himself watching Formula 1, not racing in it.
With only 20 cars on the grid, there was no place for Piastri at Alpine as the team had already confirmed Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.
There may not be a place for him next season either, as Ocon has already signed for 2023 and Alonso has made it clear he wants to stay.
Power, who tested for Minardi in 2004, said the fate of Piastri, who left him with a reserve driver for the 2022 championship, is a clear indication that something is wrong.
“Oscar Piastri certainly deserved to be in Formula 1 this year after winning back-to-back Formula 3 titles and then F2 for the first year as a rookie,” he said last weekend during an IndyCar press conference in St. Petersburg.
“So not being in Formula 1… for me the system is kind of broken.
“Why? Why are they spending all that money to make something like F2 work and you win the championship in the first year – and I’m going to say the budget for that has to be €2m or something – and not get a Formula 1 seat?
“I think he deserves to be in Formula 1. He should be in Formula 1. I can understand why he wouldn’t want to come to IndyCar because he’s worked his whole career. [for F1]. I have to say I was a bit disappointed that it wasn’t driven.
“So we will see what happens. It’s a complete travesty if he doesn’t end up in Formula 1 next year, because then he will probably never end up in Formula 1, which is such a shame.”
The 40-year-old, however, believes joining the IndyCar series is a good step for any driver as the US single-seater championships are more competitive.
Last year Romain Grosjean signed up while this season F1 hopefuls Christian Lundgaard and Callum Illot have also crossed the pond.
Power said: “Obviously Formula 1 is the pinnacle when you look at the level of money and TV coverage in the world that it has. So if you’re a young driver it’s a place where you would love to go and experience this series.
“But when it comes to competition, competition and parity, there’s no other open-wheel series in the world like IndyCar.
“It’s more competitive than Formula 1, not because the drivers are better but just because the cars are all exactly the same. You have so many drivers and teams that have been there for so long in those same cars it’s really, really difficult.
“You don’t even have to take my word for it. Just look at the practice sheets and qualifying times. You can calculate that yourself mathematically, that IndyCar is more competitive than Formula 1.
“In Formula 1 you may be competing against one person, who is your teammate, but maybe this year [with major technical regulation overhaul] they will have more parity.
“I’m not saying that IndyCar drivers are better: it’s not true. I’m just saying the formula is more competitive, and I think the formula is better for the fans, honestly. You never know who will win.