Tsunoda will be in AlphaTauri “sooner or later”, says Tost

AlphaTauri Formula 1 boss Franz Tost expects to see Japanese F2 racer Yuki Tsunoda driving one of the team’s cars “sooner or later.”

Tsunoda will be in AlphaTauri “sooner or later”, says Tost

Tsunoda is a protege of both Red Bull and Honda, and is widely regarded as one of the best current prospects from Japan.

He finished ninth in his rookie season in the FIA F3 series last year, having scored one race victory in the Monza sprint event for the unfancied Jenzer Motorsport squad.

The 20-year-old moved up to F2 with Carlin this year, winning the Sunday sprint race at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone, while logging another two feature race podium finishes and taking pole at the second Austrian event.

Read Also:

Tsunoda currently lies fourth in the championship, in line with the target needed to obtain a superlicence, 39 points behind series leader Callum Ilott.

Honda is understandably keen to fast track a Japanese driver into F1, and last year two-time Super Formula champion Naoki Yamamoto was given an FP1 session with the then Toro Rosso team at the Japanese GP.

However, at 32, Yamamoto - also a title-winner in SUPER GT - is generally regarded as having missed his opportunity to switch to F1.

Tsunoda has emerged as the driver that both Honda and Red Bull would like to promote.

Yuki Tsunoda, Carlin

Yuki Tsunoda, Carlin

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Thus far this year he has had the edge on Carlin teammate and fellow Red Bull-backed driver Jehan Daruvala, while the prospects of Juri Vips earning a superlicence have been compromised by COVID-19 impacting his ability to race in Super Formula.

Tost made it clear that Tsunoda is very much on the radar at Red Bull after his recent strong performances in F2.

“First of all, Red Bull and Honda are supporting Tsunoda because he is a fantastic driver,” said the Austrian. “He is a really talented driver, very high-skilled, and he showed this in Formula 3 last year, he showed this this year.

“I remember back at the race in Austria in the wet conditions when he was leading the race but then unfortunately because of some radio problems he came in for the tyres too late, for the pitstop too late, and then he finished second. And then in Silverstone he won the race.

“And he is also improving his performance. He is becoming more and more experienced and I expect him earlier or later in a car from AlphaTauri, of course.

Nobuharu Matsushita is another Japanese driver to have won in F2 this year, taking a shock victory in the Barcelona feature race from 18th on the grid, but the 26-year-old is in his fifth season at GP2/F2 level and is also thought unlikely to progress to F1.

Nobuharu Matsushita, MP Motorsport

Nobuharu Matsushita, MP Motorsport

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

shares
comments

Related video

Vips to make Spa F2 debut, replacing injured Gelael at DAMS

Previous article

Vips to make Spa F2 debut, replacing injured Gelael at DAMS

Next article

Formula 2 retires number 19 in memory of Hubert

Formula 2 retires number 19 in memory of Hubert
Load comments
How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season Prime

How Red Bull's next F1 hopeful turned around his season

Having impressed in Formula 3, Juri Vips looked to be next cab off the rank in Red Bull's prestigious Junior Team before his 2020 schedule was dealt a heavy blow by the COVID-19 pandemic. After a tough start to life in Formula 2, Vips is showing signs of a recovery - could he be the first Estonian to reach Formula 1?

FIA F2
Jun 14, 2021
How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books Prime

How F1 hopeful Pourchaire is re-writing the F2 record books

He'd marked himself out as a star of the future in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, but 17-year-old Theo Pourchaire underlined his credentials by winning his first Formula 2 race in the Monaco feature. Sauber junior status gives him a clear route to the top, but with wisdom beyond his years, he's not getting caught up in his own hype.

FIA F2
Jun 3, 2021
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Prime

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends.

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Prime

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come.

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Prime

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
How Mick Schumacher earned his Haas F1 chance Prime

How Mick Schumacher earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2021
How Aitken’s fortunes turned around for his shock F1 chance Prime

How Aitken’s fortunes turned around for his shock F1 chance

As a consequence of George Russell's step up to Mercedes to cover for the COVID-positive Lewis Hamilton, Jack Aitken will make his Formula 1 debut for Williams at the Sakhir Grand Prix. Long on F1's peripheries, Aitken finally has a chance to shine.

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2020