Yuki Tsunoda replaces Kvyat at AlphaTauri for 2021 F1 season

The AlphaTauri Formula 1 team has confirmed Yuki Tsunoda will partner Pierre Gasly in 2021, replacing Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull's sister team

Yuki Tsunoda replaces Kvyat at AlphaTauri for 2021 F1 season

The news has been expected for some weeks, with the Japanese driver having begun his preparations with an outing in a 2018 Toro Rosso at Imola last month.

He enjoyed his first run in the current car and on proper race tyres in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, setting the seventh best time of the day in the young driver test.

The 20-year-old, who is a protege of both Red Bull and Honda, will be the first Japanese driver to compete in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014.

Tsunoda made a big impact in the FIA Formula 3 series in 2019 with the unfancied Jenzer team, winning the sprint race at Monza.

He was fast-tracked into the Carlin Formula 2 team for this year and was a regular points scorer from the off.

He won feature races at Spa and Sakhir, and a sprint race at Silverstone, and after strong end to his rookie season he finished third in the championship.

Tsnuoda is highly regarded by Red Bull boss Helmut Marko, who told Autosport in Abu Dhabi: "I love him! His speed, the way he overtakes, but also how quickly he learns how to nurse the tyres, and all of that."

AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost says Tsunoda has already impressed the Faenza outfit.

"Red Bull has been following Yuki's career for a while now and I am sure he will be a great asset to our team," said the Austrian.

"Watching him in F2 this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding.

"During the test in Imola in November when he drove our 2018 car, his lap times were very consistent over a race simulation, he progressed throughout the day and gave our engineers useful feedback.

"In addition, his integration with the Honda engineers has been seamless, which certainly helps. At the test in Abu Dhabi this week, he proved to be a fast learner and that he is ready to make the step to F1."

Tsunoda said:"Like most racing drivers, it has always been my goal to race in F1, so I am very happy with this news.

"I want to thank Scuderia AlphaTauri, Red Bull and Dr Marko for giving me this opportunity, and of course everyone from Honda, for all their support so far in my career, giving me great opportunities to race in Europe.

"I must also thank the teams that I have raced with to get to this point, particularly Carlin, with whom I have learned so much this year.

"I realise that I will be carrying the hopes of a lot of Japanese F1 fans next year and I will be doing my best for them too."

shares
comments
Mazepin loses court battle over failed attempt to buy Force India

Previous article

Mazepin loses court battle over failed attempt to buy Force India

Next article

New lighting system to open up possibilities for more F1 night races

New lighting system to open up possibilities for more F1 night races
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Daniil Kvyat , Yuki Tsunoda
Author Adam Cooper
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021