Yuki Tsunoda to make Formula 1 debut in AlphaTauri test at Imola
Red Bull junior driver Yuki Tsunoda has been making incredible headway in F2, and had finally been given a date for his first Formula 1 experience.
Foot in the door for Tsunoda
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost confirmed that 20 year-old Yuki Tsunoda will make his Formula 1 debut at Imola in a 2018-spec car, following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, also hinting that he could take part in an FP1 session later this year.
Photo credit: AlphaTauri
Tsunoda currently sits third in the Formula 2 Championship, behind only Callum Illot and Mick Schumacher, and is well on his way to earning a Formula 1 Super License.
Though Honda’s announcement of their impending departure from Formula 1 last month shrouded Tsunoda’s future in doubt (the Japanese driver is part of the Honda Formula Dream Project), Tost explained that he is safe in the Red Bull junior program.
“The Red Bull philosophy is not to bring a driver to AlphaTauri because of political reasons,” Tost clarified. “No, a driver comes to AlphaTauri because of his sporting success. It has nothing to do whether Honda continues or not.
“Yuki Tsunoda is doing a fantastic job in F2, he won two races - one in Spa, one in Silverstone and in Austria in wet conditions he was leading for a long time and because of a radio problem, he finished only second. He has the natural speed, he has the skills and the rest, we will see.”
Tsunoda’s test will consist of “a 300km test after Imola” on Wednesday November 4, so that he can have a chance of participating in an FP1 session later in the season.
The young Japanese driver is making great strides in his journey to Formula 1, and provided all runs smoothly with his test and FP1 running, he will likely join the litany of Formula 2 drivers to make the step up to F1 in the coming years.