Piastri currently leads the Formula 2 standings after winning the FIA F3 title in his first attempt last year with Prema.
But despite his rapid rise, the Australian will spend 2022 on the sidelines, becoming Alpine’s reserve driver after missing a potential seat in F1.
Piastri would have been under a seat at Alfa Romeo, but that place went to his F2 rival and fellow Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou.
Instead, the Australian will not be racing next year to fully focus on his reserve role, which will involve him either going to the races or supporting the team from the Enstone simulator.
But Piastri Alpine teammate Ocon, who also had a rocky road to become an established F1 driver, believes it is “only a matter of time” before Piastri joins him on the grid.
After winning the GP3 Series title in 2015, the Mercedes Ocon protégé was placed in DTM by the manufacturer. He was also loaned to Renault as a reserve driver before making his F1 debut in mid-2016 at Manor.
He then went to Force India / Racing Point for a two-year stint, but when the team dropped him for Lance Stroll in 2019, the Frenchman became Mercedes’ reserve driver, staying an entire season until which he won a racing seat at Renault, now Alpin.
“[I had] quite a few years of looking aside, but I think it’s only a matter of time [that] Oscar will join us on the grid, ”Ocon said.
“He’s more than talented, he’s won just about every title so far, of course he’s still got F2.”
Oscar Piastri, Renault F1 RS18
Photo by: Alpine
Drawing parallels from his time as a Mercedes reserve, Ocon believes it will still be useful for Piastri, 20, to make his way to F1 through a third driving role to help him prepare for a possible racing seat.
“Of course, waiting is never a great thing for us riders, but the best thing of course is for him to watch how everything is going,” he explained.
“That’s what I did on my end, just trying to put together as much information as possible and once you are seated you know how everything works from the inside out.
“And that’s what I did, so I’m sure he’ll probably do the same.”
Ocon also knows Zhou from the junior role of Chinese driver Alpine and believes it won’t take long for him to level up at Alfa Romeo.
“It’s fantastic to see him come to Formula 1,” he said.
“I obviously worked with him a lot this year, I also shared an FP1 with him in Austria.
“He was developing very quickly in the F1 car, so I don’t think it will take him long to get up to speed, but I really wish him the best.”