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BWT Alpine F1 Team announce 2022 Alpine Academy line-up

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Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

BWT Alpine F1 Team announced its Alpine Academy drivers on Monday (14 February). Two new faces have arrived and two drivers continue within the programme for their fourth year; all four competed in the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2021.

Caio Collet and Victor Martins remain with the Academy and remain in F3 for their second seasons, with Collet staying at MP Motorsport and Martins moving to ART Grand Prix, with whom he won the 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup.

Martins won Race 2 in Zandvoort, while both took podiums at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the first meeting of the season. Martins finished on the podium twice on home soil at Circuit Paul Ricard, with Collet taking third in Race 3. Further podiums came for the Frenchman at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and Sochi.

Jack Doohan and Olli Caldwell competed in FIA F3 in 2021, taking four wins and one win with Trident and PREMA Racing respectively.

Doohan missed out on the title to PREMA FIA Formula 2 Championship recruit Dennis Hauger, but helped Trident to the Teams’ Championship alongside Clement Novalak and David Schumacher.

Caldwell finished eighth in the standings after a win in Barcelona and four podiums across the season. The pair made their F2 debuts in Jeddah in December, after the F3 season ended in Sochi two months earlier.

Both drivers were involved in collisions in Abu Dhabi across the final three races with Virtuosi Racing and Campos Racing, though Doohan took an impressive fifth-place finish in Sprint Race 2 in Saudi Arabia, and eighth in the same race at Yas Marina Circuit.

Credit: BWT Alpine F1 Team

The existing Alpine Academy drivers were among the class of the field in FIA Formula 2 in 2021. Oscar Piastri won his third successive title (Formula Renault Eurocup, FIA F3) by taking the F2 crown at the first time of asking, and will assume a reserve and simulator driver role for 2022.

Meanwhile, Guanyu Zhou‘s race-winning season saw him rewarded with a seat at Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN alongside Valtteri Bottas, as Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi both leave Formula 1.

Christian Lundgaard will contest the 2022 IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine said, “The Alpine Academy remains an extremely valuable part of what we want to achieve in Formula One.

“We are passionate about finding the next generation of racers to nourish our F1 driver line-up. It’s exciting to see the growing strength of the programme since it started in 2016, with [2021] being its most successful season to date.

“Of our 2021 graduates, Oscar [Piastri] joins our Formula One programme as the team’s official Reserve Driver. He has an important role alongside Esteban [Ocon] and Fernando [Alonso] this year.

“We also only need to look down the Formula One paddock and across to IndyCar to see two more of our Academy graduates from last year, which is testament to the structure of the programme to prepare drivers for senior series.’

“As with every year, we have high expectations for our Academy and it’s no different heading into this season,” he said.

“We welcome two new drivers, Jack and Oli, combined with the returning Formula 3 duo of Caio and Victor. Each brings their own personality and talent and we are excited to see how our drivers develop this season, individually and as a group.”

Davide Brivio will take a new role for 2022, as Director of Racing Expansion Projects, as former Racing Point and Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer joined on Thursday (17 February).

Prior to leaving the Enstone team, Brivio said “The Alpine Academy enters a new cycle this season after a very successful 2021 for the programme.

“This year our Academy driver line-up has a nice blend of talent with a lot of potential. Jack and Olli both enter their first seasons in Formula 2 but crucially have experience from the series last year.

“We have faith they will adapt well and learn valuable lessons in their first year in the Academy.

“Caio and Victor continue in the programme for another year and we have high expectations for them both. They now become the most experienced drivers in the Academy, so we’re excited to see them demonstrate all of their learnings so far.”

Mia Sharizman, Alpine Academy Director added, “We are only measured by our success on track and our goal as an Academy is always to win the championships our drivers are competing in.

“Jack is fresh from finishing as runner-up in F3, showing his raw speed in the championship and again in his debut in F2 last year. While Olli comes into the Academy after a solid year in F3 where he managed four podiums and a race win.

“We accept it might take a few races for the two of them to adjust to their new surroundings, but we’re confident they will hit the ground running towards the second half of the season.

“For Victor and Caio, they know it’s time to deliver and fight for the F3 title this season after a strong first year in the series.

“They’ve been part of the Academy for four years and have shown strong development in every season. Victor won his first race last year and Caio scored some strong results. We are excited for both seasons to start next month.”

Martins, Collet, Doohan and Caldwell will begin their 2022 seasons on 18-20 March as F2 and F3 support Formula One at the Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain.

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