Christmas has to wait for Oscar Piastri.
He will be in quarantine lockdown in Melbourne when the bloke in the big red suit does his thing on December 25.
But the youngster already has his special gift for 2020, his race place in the FIA Formula 2 championship for 2021, and has starred during F2 testing in Bahrain.
Piastri was back in the pack during his early running with the Prema team out of Italy, only 17th on the morning of the third day, but turned up the speed when it counted in the final timed runs at Sakir.
He finished second for the final session test, just 0.34 seconds behind second-year driver Felipe Drugovich. Both were slower than Louis Deletraz managed in the morning, when cooler conditions allowed him to clock a 1 minute 41.872 second lap.
Piastri completed 33 laps in the final session with a best time of 1:42.784 seconds, but even that was deceptive as he worked through a comprehensive program with Prema.
He did long runs to verify his race pace during the morning, also learning about the all-important ‘degradation’ of the Pirelli race rubber, then concentrated on pitstops during the afternoon before his final sprint against the clock. Pitstops are part of the program at every F2 race and, with limited crew members and wheel guns it’s essential for the drivers to practice hitting their marks in the pitlane a maximising their in and out-laps.
Soon after banking his quickest lap and debriefing with Prema, Piastri was on a plan from Bahrain to London to pack for his summer holidays with his family in Melbourne.
His plan will see him emerging from quarantine on December 27 for a late celebration and the start of a holiday break to re-charged his batteries for F2 in 2021.