The ‘Silly Season’ of the 2022 Formula 1 season began with the news of the withdrawal of Sebastian Vettel, who was to leave the gap for Fernando Alonso to join Aston Martin and, at the same time, leave Alpine in search of a substitute for the two-time Spanish champion. That was when the name of Oscar Piastri appeared , who had spent a whole year on the bench waiting for his chance after being crowned with authority in Formula 2.
Despite the fact that those from Enstone confirmed his signing, the Australian denied that he would be with them in the next campaign, and after a legal fight for the services of the young man from Melbourne between McLaren and Alpine, the Contract Recognition Board led to the conclusion that the only valid agreement was that of the Wokings.
Thus, Piastri will sit next to Lando Norris in the papaya car, but before getting into a British car for the first time, the Australian revealed the number he will wear in 2023 , when he replaces his compatriot, Daniel Ricciardo.
In the podcast that launched the Australian Grand Prix on his website, the reigning Formula 2 champion said: “81 was the number I had in karting. The story of how I got 81 is not particularly interesting, but the I’ll explain anyway.”
“Basically when I did my first race I had to choose a number and the kart shop I went to only had number 1’s in stock. It had to be a one or two digit number and obviously it couldn’t be number 1 for obvious reasons, so I actually had the number 11, during my first few races,” Piastri said.
“Then we signed up, I think it was the state championships in Victoria, and someone had already signed up with number 11, so I don’t know what inspired me to pick 81, but I changed the first one to number 8, and since then it stayed with me”, concluded the next debutante in the Great Circus.
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