Alpine F1 team sets up its junior programme

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The Alpine Formula 1 Team has laid down the plans for its junior driver academy that will see five drivers compete in the FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3 series in 2021.

Alpine has confirmed its junior driver line-up will include reigning FIA Formula 3 champion and Formula 2 graduate Oscar Piastri, F2 drivers Guanyu Zhou and Christian Lundgaard, 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup winner Victor Martins and runner-up Caio Collet.

Director of the Alpine F1 Team’s junior academy Director Mia Sharizman said that the team intends to gear up its programme after the successes achieved by its members in recent years.

“The Academy enters an important phase in its growth since we started the programme in 2016. On paper, this year we have a very experienced line-up with seventeen victories and two championships shared between our drivers from their respective seasons last year.

“We have three very competitive drivers in Formula 2 this year, all of whom have proven they can win. For Zhou it’s his third year in the series and it’s time for him to combine his experience and potential to win the title.

The 19-year-old Oscar Piastri won the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2020, clinching two wins and scoring the 164 points in total. He has another important title to his name as he won the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019.

Christian Lungaard, who made his F2 debut last year, finished seventh in Formula One’s main feeder series, taking two wins and one pole position. "We have so many tools to help us develop and improve as people and as racing drivers,” the Dane said.

“We also have high expectations for Christian who can challenge for the title this year having shown us all glimpses of his potential last season,” added Sharizman.

.“Whilst for Oscar, who is the rookie in Formula 2 for us, enters this year with great confidence after winning the Formula 3 crown last year. Victor Martin competed in the Formula Renault Eurocup in the past three seasons. After finishing fifth and second in 2018 and 2019 respectively, he was crowned champion last year. On the way to the title, he took seven victories, secured ten pole positions and collected a total of 348 points.

The 18-year-old Caio Collet also competed in the Formula Eurocup in the past season, finishing runner-up behind Martins. The Brazilian said: "F3 is part of the F1 weekend, so naturally it has more eyes on it and it's going to be important to perform to your best every single weekend."

Sharizman thinks that Martins and Collet will form a very strong driver line-up in the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2021.

“Our driver pairing in Formula 3 this year is also very strong, with last year’s Eurocup champion Victor and runner-up Caio racing for MP Motorsport. We are very happy to welcome back Victor, who was first with us in 2018.

“The drivers in the Academy know what is around the corner for them within our Formula 1 structure. The opportunity will come for those who perform the best,” Sharizman concluded.