Ricciardo set for Chevy NASCAR blast at COTA!

Daniel Riccardo will be aiming to return to the top-ten at next week's US Grand Prix, but ahead... The post Ricciardo set for Chevy NASCAR blast at COTA! appeared first on F1i.com.

Ricciardo set for Chevy NASCAR blast at COTA!

Daniel Riccardo will be aiming to return to the top-ten at next week's US Grand Prix, but ahead of his F1 weekend, the McLaren driver will saddle an iconic set of wheels once steered by his childhood idol.

McLaren boss Zak Brown has held up his end of the bargain, having promised Ricciardo a stint on-board Dale Earnhardt Sr's #3 Wrangler Chevrolet Monte Carlo NASCAR beast - which Brown owns - if he managed to snatch a podium this season.

Ricciardo surpassed his boss's expectations by winning the Italian Grand Prix at Monza last month, and thus gained the right to run some demo laps at the Circuit of the Americas on-board Earnhardt's historic machine.

The late Earnhardt, a seven-time Winston Cup champion and a Daytona 500 victor, has always held a special place in Ricciardo's heart.

The NASCAR legend, a rather unlikely idol for an F1 driver, even inspired the Aussie's choice to run with n°3 in F1 as it was also Earnhardt's trademark race number.

  • Read also: Ricciardo won't let frustrating Turkish GP impact 'momentum'

"He was a hero for sure, and it was really in 2014 when I took on the No. 3, and I also had it in the back of my mind to take on ‘The Intimidator’ and my version of that was ‘The Honey Badger'," Ricciardo explained earlier this year, referring to his first season with Red Bull Racing.

"I felt it was my year to make a bit of a statement, to be the guy that was, let’s say, not afraid to put on a big move, to race hard.

"I didn’t feel I’d quite had that yet, and that first year with Red Bull was the first chance to make that statement and to earn that reputation.

"For sure, part of that was on the back of Earnhardt and how he inspired me."

Unfortunately, Ricciardo never got a chance to see Earnhardt race, but manhandling the Intimidator's Chevy around COTA will be one heck of a consolation prize!

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Piastri: Chances of securing 2022 Alfa seat 'basically none'

F2 championship leader Oscar Piastri is rumored to be in the running for a seat in F1 with... The post Piastri: Chances of securing 2022 Alfa seat 'basically none' appeared first on F1i.com.

Piastri: Chances of securing 2022 Alfa seat 'basically none'

F2 championship leader Oscar Piastri is rumored to be in the running for a seat in F1 with Alfa Romeo in 2022, but the young Aussie insists his chances of securing the drive are "basically none".

Piastri, who graduated to Formula 2 after winning last year's FIA Formula 3 Championship, is in the midst of an outstanding first season in the category.

The 20-year-old currently leads fellow Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou with two rounds to go in the series. And the young charger's performances have reportedly put him on the radar of Alfa Romeo which has yet to nominate the driver that will race alongside new recruit Valtteri Bottas next season.

Piastri's manager, former F1 driver Mark Webber, alluded to his protégé's potential chances of joining the Swiss outfit in 2022, although he also admitted that Alpine would perhaps be reluctant to part with Piastri's talent.

©Alpine

As far as the latter is concerned, his chances of joining the grid next season in F1 with Alfa Romeo are remote.

"My chances of being in F1 next year are extremely low, I think basically none," he said in an interview posted on his own website.

"I know [Guanyu] Zhou has been very heavily linked to that seat and also Giovinazzi is there at the moment.

"I don’t think I’m going to be in that seat at all, I think it is the only opportunity for next year. I’d be happily surprised if it was me in that seat for next year."

  • Read also: Leclerc says Piastri deserves F1 seat 'on merit'

Securing the F2 title in Abu Dhabi at the end of the season would preclude Piastri from undertaking a second season in the junior class, which begs the question of how the young talent would occupy his year.

Formula 1's expected new rule that should mandate all teams to run a junior driver in at least two FP1 sessions would offer Piastri some F1 mileage with Alpine in 2022 as well as a reserve driver role.

"I think the most realistic target and goal is to be Alpine’s reserve for next year," he confirmed.

"Because at the end of the day I am still very heavily linked with them and very appreciative of their support, and I think that is reciprocated.

"So I think the most logical step is to try to become reserve driver for next year and see what kind of programme we can come up with for next year, and hopefully do some testing and FP1 sessions.

"And then try to get into an F1 seat for the following year for 2023."

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The post Piastri: Chances of securing 2022 Alfa seat 'basically none' appeared first on F1i.com.

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