Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda Team Principal Franz Tost believed the test with Yuki Tsunoda at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari was a productive one, with the Japanese racer completing seventy-two laps of the Italian circuit on Wednesday.
The Honda-backed FIA Formula 2 race winner drove a 2018-specification Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 at Imola as he ran in Formula 1 machinery for the first time, ahead of his likely move up to the top level of single-seater racing in 2021.
Tsunoda was unphased as he ran in wet conditions initially before switching to dry weather tyres when the track dried out. He completed the mandatory 300 kilometres of running to be eligible for a Formula 1 Superlicence to run in a free practice session, and now only needs to finish inside the top four in the Formula 2 championship to be brought into the AlphaTauri team next season.
Tost felt Tsunoda proved his consistency throughout the day, and he is pleased that the Japanese racer will be back with the team for the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix young driver test next month, if not for a free practice session before that.
“We had a very productive first test here in Imola with Yuki Table to complete 352km,” Tost is quoted as saying by Crash.net.
“It was a bit damp in the morning, so we started the day on full wet tyres. Even so, Yuki got immediately familiar with the car, which means that when we changed to the dry tyres he improved his lap times straight away and it was quite impressive.
“After the lunch break we continued on with new sets of tyres and he improved further, showing that he was feeling more comfortable in the car, lap by lap. Yuki gave valuable technical feedback regarding the behaviour of the car, which was in line with what we expected.
“In his last run, he did a race simulation and he was very consistent, which is clear evidence he had everything under control. We are looking forward to his next test in Abu Dhabi, when he will be doing the young driver test for Scuderia AlphaTauri.”