AlphaTauri have announced that Yuki Tsunoda will drive for the team in 2021 Formula One season.
Tsunoda graduates to F1 after successfully finishing third in this year’s F2 campaign, in which the Japanese driver collected three wins and seven podiums overall driving for Carlin.
Speaking on his step up to F1, Tsunoda said: “… it has always been my goal to race in Formula 1, so I am very happy with this news.
“I want to thank Scuderia AlphaTauri, Red Bull and Dr. Marko for giving me this opportunity, and of course everyone from Honda, for all their support so far in my career, giving me great opportunities to race in Europe.”
On the pressure of carrying hopes of Japanese fans in F1, Tsunoda was rather bullish about that aspect, saying; “I realise that I will be carrying the hopes of a lot of Japanese F1 fans next year and I will be doing my best for them too.”
AlphaTauri Team Principal, Franz Tost meanwhile praised Tsunoda for his on track work ethnic in F2 this season, saying; “Watching him in Formula 2 this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding.”
Tost also was impressed by Tsunoda’s recent work with the team in terms of consistency and “useful feedback” to engineers at an Imola test in early November, before participating in Tuesday’s Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi with Tost describing him as a “fast learner” and “ready to make the step to Formula One.”
Tsunoda will partner Pierre Gasly for AlphaTauri in 2021 after the Frenchman signed a new deal in late October, with Daniil Kvyat departing the team once again.