A breakthrough win in Monaco has given Oscar Piastri the essential momentum as the FIA Formula 2 championship joins the undercard on the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.
Despite advancing to second in the F2 point-score in his rookie year, with three podiums from the first two meetings of 2021, he faces another giant challenge as he is completely new to Baku.
The track is a street circuit like Monaco but, unlike Monaco, the layout is a mix of truly high-speed straights with a romp through the medieval city walls of the Sheher old town.
“Off the back of Monaco, F2 is back with more street circuit action. Let’s race,” said Piastri.
His boss at the Prema Powerteam, Rene Rosin, is fully attuned to the challenge as he fields Piastri and Robert Shwartzman, a 21-year-old Russian.
“Running at Baku presents us with some unique situations. The mix of different types of corners, and the typical challenges of street course racing, make it incredibly tricky,” said Rosin.
“However, we had decent results there in the past and we have two really adaptable drivers. They showed so much potential in the first two rounds of the season that we feel they have what we need to be contenders.”
Piastri is also fresh after his second Formula One test drive following track time with the Alpine team at Silverstone in Britain, where he shared the car with F2 title leader Guanyu Zhou.
It’s Zhou who holds a 16-point lead in the F2 standings but he is Piastri’s toughest opponent in their personal battle to get into F1. He also lines up for the UNI-Virtuosi outfit that is leading Prema in this year’s teams’ championship.