F2 racer Tsunoda set for Abu Dhabi rookie F1 test run with AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri Formula 1 boss Franz Tost has confirmed that Formula 2 racer Yuki Tsunoda will drive for the team at the Abu Dhabi rookie test in December

F2 racer Tsunoda set for Abu Dhabi rookie F1 test run with AlphaTauri

Tost also suggested that the Japanese driver is in the frame for a race seat next year, should he qualify for a superlicence and Red Bull decide to promote him.

Tsunoda, who currently lies fourth in the F2 championship in his rookie year, will start Saturday's feature race at Spa from pole position, having previously taken pole at the second Austrian event, and won the second Silverstone sprint contest.

As a protege of both Honda and Red Bull, the 20-year-old has emerged as the driver most likely to step up with AlphaTauri, and Tost hinted recently that he would test the car this year.

The Austrian has now gone a step further by naming Tsunoda for the end-of-season rookie test.

"I'm not only impressed with his driving in F2, I was impressed with him last year in F3 as well and the years before," said Tost.

"He is a high-skilled driver and he has all the ingredients together to become a successful F1 driver.

"For sure, he will test for us in Abu Dhabi at the young driver test.

"Whether he will drive for us next year or not, this is being decided by Red Bull and it depends also whether he gets a superlicence.

"If he continues like now then he will be within the first three or four drivers in the F2 championship and it shouldn't be a problem to receive the superlicence, and the rest then we will see."

Red Bull motorsport boss Helmut Marko has also praised Tsunoda recently.

"It has been written that there are no more new juniors, but we have Yuki Tsunoda, who is doing great in his first year in F2," he told Autosport.

"He had two technical failures. Without them, he would have as many points as [Robert] Shwartzman."

Asked if talk of an F1 graduation was a distraction, Tsunoda said that he is fully focused on his F2 programme.

"I race of course for taking first in the championship," he said. "And I didn't change anything about the target for that.

"Also, I know I need to take good points to drive F1.

"So yeah, it's a good thing of course Franz and also Helmut talking about me driving F1 next year, or doing the rookie test this year, but I always concentrate and focus only for F2."

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