AlphaTauri favourite Tsunoda gets F1 Imola outing

Yuki Tsunoda will take a step closer to a 2021 AlphaTauri Formula 1 race drive when he tests for the Italian team at Imola on Wednesday.

AlphaTauri favourite Tsunoda gets F1 Imola outing
Listen to this article

The Japanese F2 driver will run a 2018 Toro Rosso STR13, the same car that was used by Pierre Gasly and Daniil Kvyat for a pre-season outing at the same venue.

The test is part of AlphaTauri's plan to prepare Tsunoda for 2021, and also nudge him towards official qualification for a superlicence.

He has already been promised an outing in the Abu Dhabi rookie test that follows the last round of the world championship, and he may also do an FP1 session prior to that, although no decision has been made.

He currently lies third in the F2 standings on 147 points, with just the two Bahrain weekends to come.

However, Christian Lundgaard, Robert Shwartzman and Nikita Mazepin are all within just seven points of him, and thus there's a risk that he could slip down the order.

He has to finish in the top four to automatically qualify for a superlicence.

"Yuki Tsunoda has to get used to a Formula 1 car," said AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost. "It is his first outing in a Formula 1 car. It's here in Imola.

"It's not an easy track, and I will instruct him in the best possible way what to do, and then we want to do a 300kms run with him, just to get the permission from the FIA to do eventually a FP1 in Bahrain or Abu Dhabi.

"We will see if it's necessary. It depends where he ends up in the F2 drivers' championship. If he is in the first four, he gets a superlicence, if he is fifth and maybe he needs two FP1s, because they will be a point as well."

Read Also:

While Tsunoda is widely tipped to get the second AlphaTauri seat alongside Pierre Gasly, its current incumbent Daniil Kvyat provided a timely reminder of his abilities with a strong fourth place at Imola.

Alex Albon could also be in the mix, should be demoted from Red Bull. 

"It's better to have a queue instead of having nothing," said Tost. "I think the decision will be made soon, a decision from Red Bull, and then we will see.

"We are not in a hurry. If it's before the end of the season, it's fine. It depends also I think where Yuki Tsunoda ends in the championship, because it is a very important factor."

Tost played down any push from Honda to help Tsunoda into the seat, insisting that he qualifies on merit.

"No, no, no, no," he said. "It's just [because] of his performance. There's nothing to do with any sponsors, I feel like this. This was never the case at neither Toro Rosso, nor at Scuderia AlphaTauri.

"No, we must be convinced that the driver has the necessary ability and skills to become a successful F1 driver. Because although we are the so-called sister team, our brother expects good drivers from us."

shares
comments

Related video

Magnussen explains gearbox issue that caused headache
Previous article

Magnussen explains gearbox issue that caused headache

Next article

How Ferrari's Imola spec offers clues to hit-and-miss upgrades

How Ferrari's Imola spec offers clues to hit-and-miss upgrades
Load comments
Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022