Tsunoda joins AlphaTauri for post-Abu Dhabi GP test

The AlphaTauri Formula 1 team has formally confirmed that Yuki Tsunoda will take part in the Abu Dhabi young drivers’ test next week.

The Japanese driver is expected to be announced soon as a race driver for 2021, alongside current incumbent Pierre Gasly.

Tsunoda finished his rookie F2 season with a feature race win and second place in the Sakhir GP support events.

He officially qualified for his FIA superlicence by finishing in third place in the 2020 championship, and also won the Antonie Hubert award for best rookie.

He enjoyed his first taste of F1 power when he tested a 2018 Toro Rosso at Imola in the week after the Emilia Romagna GP, impressing the team on a day that started in tricky and damp conditions.

Tsunoda is already highly-regarded in the Red Bull camp, and he also carries the support of Honda.

“Yuki showed at the test in Imola that he is a fast learner, able to easily get familiar with the car and was able to constantly improve every lap,” said team principal Franz Tost.

“So we decided to have him test with us at the young driver test on the Wednesday after the race. I’m convinced he will make a good step forward having a full day in the car, and this time he will be driving the AT01, so his feedback will be even more valuable for our engineers.

“It’s great to see that the Red Bull driver programme can prepare young drivers so well, and I have no doubts he will prove his talent once again

“I am really looking forward to testing with Scuderia AlphaTauri,” said Tsunoda. “I enjoyed driving one of the team’s 2018 cars at Imola a few weeks back and I can’t wait to try the current car, taking part in an official test session with all the other cars on track.

“I really appreciate how everyone at Scuderia AlphaTauri has helped me to prepare for this session, and I also want to thank Red Bull and Dr [Helmut] Marko for giving me this opportunity.

“During the session, my focus will be on following the team’s instructions and giving my feedback to the engineers. It will also be a chance for me to learn as much as possible and help my own personal development.”

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