Aussie Piastri deserves F1 chance: Leclerc

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Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc wouldn't be surprised if young Australian Oscar Piastri is competing alongside him in Formula One very soon.

Piastri is widely tipped to make the step up to the sport's elite competition having developed a healthy lead in the Formula Two championship, despite it being his rookie season in the development category.

The 20-year-old, who claimed the Formula Three title last year, would become just the third driver - after Leclerc and George Russell - to win both junior categories if he can close out this year's F2 series.

Despite his stellar form, Piastri appears to be an outsider for the one remaining seat on the 2022 F1 grid.

F2 rival Guanyou Zhou is widely tipped to get the nod to race for Alfa Romeo next year.

Zhou would be China's first F1 driver and brings with him obvious commercial appeal, although there have been whispers he and Alfa Romeo are at loggerheads over the length of contract being offered.

Nonetheless Leclerc, who raced for Piastri's Prema outfit in F2 himself, sees no reason why the Melbourne product can't eventually crack into the big time.

"He is a very, very talented driver," Leclerc told the-race.com website.

"He's incredibly consistent, always there when he needs to be.

"It is impressive and he definitely has the merit to be in F1 ... he should be in F1. So, I really hope he will be very soon."

Piastri's 2022 season will be very different if he does claim the F2 title but fails to find a F1 seat.

Under F2 championship rules, Piastri would not be allowed to compete in that category again if he claims the title.

The most likely outcome if that occurs will be Piastri taking on a reserve role at Alpine's F1 team next year, with Friday practice outings throughout the year.

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