Red Bull/Honda Protégé Tsunoda promoted to F2 with Carlin

by Nicholas Short

Japanese Honda F1 protégé and Red Bull Junior Team member Yuki Tsunoda has been signed by Carlin Racing for the 2020 FIA Formula 2 championship, making him the twelfth driver confirmed for the 2020 season.

Tsunoda, 19, convinced his bosses at Honda and Red Bull that he was ready for Formula 2 after a very impressive maiden season of racing in Europe.

In his first year of FIA Formula 3, Tsunoda scored an impressive win at the sprint race in Monza, along with 3 other podiums on his way to ninth in the standings despite driving for the under-performing Jenzer team.

Tsunoda also finished fourth in the Euro Formula Open championship, scoring one win and six podiums, and at times having the measure of highly rated fellow Red Bull Junior Team member Liam Lawson.

Tsunoda’s move to Formula 2 makes him the brightest Red Bull/Honda prospect for a potential move into F1.

After his ninth and fourth places in the FIA F3 and Euro Formula Open championships, as well as his 2017 and 2018 Japanese F4 championship results of third and first, Tsunoda currently has 29 of the 40 super license points needed for a move to F1, but with his 2017 Japanese F4 points expiring after 2020, Tsunoda will need to finish fifth or better in the 2020 FIA F2 championship to reach the super license points needed for a potential promotion to F1.

In an attempt to aid Tsunoda’s quest for super license points, Tsunoda will compete in the Toyota Racing Series this winter for M2 Competition before the Formula 2 season begins.

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