Japanese driver, Yuki Tsunoda has driven a Formula One car for the first time after completing an one-day test for Scuderia AlphaTauri at Imola.
Tsunoda spent the day conducting 352km of testing across a wide range of tyres after his test began in damp conditions, only to immediately improve his times when he switched from wet to dry weather tyres.
Speaking on his first time driving a F1 car on track compared to racing in Formula Two, Tsunoda said; “It was a whole different world to the F2 car I am racing this year, especially in terms of the increased power and also the braking performance.”
Tsunoda also admitted that he wasn’t concerned by lap times, saying; “I didn’t worry about my lap times, I just focused on getting used to the F1 car and completing the 300 kilometres. I’m pleased to have managed it.”
AlphaTauri Team Principal, Franz Tost meanwhile praised the F2 driver for his performance in the test, saying; “Yuki gave valuable technical feedback regarding the behaviour of the car, which was in line with what we expected.
“In his last run, he did a race simulation and he was very consistent, which is clear evidence he had everything under control.”
Tsunoda in turn commented on the atmosphere of the team, describing AlphaTauri as a “friendly group” of who he has already “established a good relationship.”
AlphaTauri will next run Tsunoda in next month’s post-season F1 Young Driver Test, with Tost excited to see the Japanese participate in the test next month, saying; “We are looking forward to his next test in Abu Dhabi, when he will be doing the young driver test for Scuderia AlphaTauri.”
Tsunoda however has two rounds of F2 left which will both take place in Bahrain, with his focus on securing third in the championship, although the 20 year-old is pragmatic on his chances, as he said; “Ahead of me are two more F2 rounds, four more races and I will just concentrate on each session over the two weekends and then we can see what the result is at the end of it all.”