AlphaTauri has confirmed that Yuki Tsunoda will make his Formula 1 debut and partner Pierre Gasly at the team next season, in place of Daniil Kvyat.
The 20-year-old Japanese driver is part of both the Red Bull Junior Team and Honda’s young driver programme and this year has been racing for the Carlin team in Formula 2.
Tsunoda had been widely tipped to get the nod after securing enough points to earn a Formula 1 superlicense as a result of his third place in this year’s F2 championship, having previously won the F4 Japanese Championship in 2018,
His maiden season in F2 saw him secure seven podiums, two feature race victories and a sprint race win.
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He’s taking part in this week’s young driver test in Abu Dhabi having previously driven an older spec car at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit in Imola.
“Red Bull has been following Yuki’s career for a while now and I am sure he will be a great asset to our team,” commented AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost on Wednesday.
“Watching him in Formula 2 this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding.
“During the test in Imola in November when he drove our 2018 car, his lap times were very consistent over a race simulation, he progressed throughout the day and gave our engineers useful feedback.
“His integration with the Honda engineers has been seamless, which certainly helps. At the test in Abu Dhabi this week, he proved to be a fast learner and that he is ready to make the step to Formula 1.”