Piastri to drive for Renault F1 in Bahrain young driver test session

The Renault DP World F1 Team has announced that newly crowned FIA Formula 3 champion Oscar Piastri will drive the Renault R.S.18 at the Bahrain International Circuit later this month.

Piastri, who won his first F3 title in dramatic fashion at Mugello to edge out Prema teammate Logan Sargeant and Frenchman Theo Pourchaire, will join 2020 FIA Formula 2 race winners Christian Lundgaard and Guanyu Zhou for the four-day R.S.18 testing programme.

“It’s safe to say I am very excited to be driving the R.S.18 next week in Bahrain,” said Piastri after learning of the opportunity. “Obviously, it will be my first test in a Formula 1 car, so it will definitely be a moment to cherish and remember for a very long time. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to drive an F1 car, so I am very grateful to the team for the opportunity.

“There will be lots to learn on the day, such as getting used to the power, downforce and braking of the car and it will all be a challenge, but I love tackling new ones. I drove the Bahrain circuit earlier this year when we did the FIA Formula 3 pre-season test, but I’ve obviously never lapped the circuit in an F1 car, so I can’t wait to get out on track.”

Piastri is unquestionably now one of the hottest young properties in motorsport, the 19-year-old Australian managed by none other than Mark Webber and boasting two victories and six podiums during his title winning season.

“The tests in Bahrain are part of a planned programme that the Academy has delivered every year for the past three years,” commented Mia Sharizman, Renault Sport Academy Director.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to show the progression and level of achievement of the drivers in the Academy. Christian and Zhou will be in the R.S.18 for a second time, whilst Oscar will be experiencing his first time in a Formula 1 car as a reward for winning the FIA Formula 3 title plus it is part of his continued progression in the Academy. The plan for the testing days often varies depending on experience, so Oscar’s day will be about getting him up to speed and familiar with the car.”

Fraser Masefield

Sports news and features writer, web editor and author.