Japanese Formula 2 driver Yuki Tsunoda will be having his first test in the AlphaTauri AT01 at Imola on Wednesday 4th November.
Tsunoda is a protege of Redbull and AlphaTauri’s power unit supplier Honda and is a potential candidate for a driver seat in AlphaTauri for the 2021 Formula 1 Season. The Japanese is hopeful to cover the 300KM that is a requirement that would qualify him to take part in a Friday Practice Session. If he is to undergo the test, there are only four races remaining in the 2020 F1 Season where he could take part in the Free Practice.
The 20-year-old is currenly ranking third in the 2020 Formula 2 Season which has only two rounds to go and his position guarantees him the Super Licence that is required for any driver to race in Formula 1.
“My main priority is to do those 300 kilometres,” Tsunoda said on Wednesday as he had a seat fitting at the Alpha Tauri factory in preparation for the test, which will come at the wheel of the 2018 Toro Rosso car.
“I don’t want to crash or go off the track because the more mileage I do, the more I can understand the car, so I will take it easy.
“But I am confident that I can do it and I will drive the way I normally do. I will focus on my job while enjoying my first day in a Formula 1 car.
“I am sure I will be very excited when I’m sitting in the car waiting for the green light at the end of the pit lane.”
The AlphaTauri team has said they are planning to run Yuki Tsunoda in the young driver test after the end of the 2020 F1 season which will be finalised in Abu Dhabi. Tsunoda was considered close to a certainty to take the AlphaTauri seat that is currently occupied by Daniil Kvyat until Honda announced that they will be quitting Formula 1 at the end of the 2021 season.
The General Manager of Honda Motorsports, Masashi Yamamoto during the last weekend’s Eifel Grand Prix said that he did not believe that Honda’s decision would have any impact on whether Tsunoda would graduate from Formula 2 to Formula 1 in 2021.
“Red Bull don’t just let anyone drive their cars,” Yamamoto said of Alpha Tauri’s owners.
“I think they will be evaluating him strictly as a junior driver and also it depends on his Formula 2 results as well. But we’d like to back him up where we can.”