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
What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility Prime

What the FIA must do to restore F1's credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins Prime

The six subplots to watch in 2022 as a new F1 era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, We pick out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022