AlphaTauri has officially confirmed its second driver for 2021. It will be Japanese Yuki Tsunoda, who will replace Daniil Kvyat and join Pierre Gasly in the team that won seventh place in the constructors' standings this season.
It has long been speculated that Tsunoda will be the choice of AlphaTauri for next season, and this has now been confirmed. The 20-year-old won third place in his rookie season in Formula 2 and apparently, that was enough for the Red Bull and AlphaTauri leadership to immediately give him a chance in the elite class.
Yuki will be the first Japanese in Formula 1 after Kamui Kobayashi, who last competed in 2014 in a Caterham car. “Like most drivers, my goal has always been to compete in Formula 1, so I am very happy with this news.
I want to thank Scuderia AlphaTauri, Red Bull, and others. I thank Mark for giving me this opportunity, and of course everyone at Honda for their great support and the opportunity to race in Europe. ” “I also have to thank the teams I drove to get to this point, especially Carlin, with whom I learned so much this year.
I am aware that I will represent the hope of many Japanese F1 fans next year and I will do my best for them, ”said Tsunoda.
After racing in Japan and winning the Formula 4 championship there, Yuki arrived in Europe and in 2019 won ninth place in Formula 3, achieving one victory and two more placements on the podium.
This year in F2 he celebrated twice and even stood on the podium seven times. Otherwise, Tsunoda will be the first Formula 1 driver to be born in this century. “Red Bull has been following Yuki’s career for some time and I am sure he will be a great addition to our team.
Watching him in Formula 2 this year, he demonstrated a good combination of aggressiveness and good technical understanding. During testing in Imola in November, when he was driving our 2018 car, lap times were very constant in the race simulation, he progressed throughout the day and gave our engineers good feedback.
” “In addition, his collaboration with Honda engineers has been excellent, which certainly helps. At the test in Abu Dhabi this week, he showed fast learning and that he is ready to move to Formula 1 ", said team boss Franz Tost.
The arrival of Tsunoda is bad news for Daniil Kvyat, who is thus losing his place in the team, and probably in Formula 1 in general. With a new contract expected to be signed between Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes, the only undefined spot for next season is the one at Red Bull, and the drivers in the game for the position are Sergio Perez and Alexander Albon.