FIA Formula 2 Championship Rookie of the Year Yuki Tsunoda will be racing in Formula 1 for 2021, partnering Pierre Gasly at Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda.
The Japanese driver has impressed over the past year in Formula 2, winning three races and gaining seven podiums in total, finishing the year in third place. Finishing in third place meant Tsunoda had enough points to qualify for a Superlicense, paving his way to Formula 1.
He has also previous won the F4 Japanese Championship in 2018 and competed in the FIA Formula 3 Championship in 2019 so the young driver has plenty of experience under his race belt.
Tsunoda said: “Like most racing drivers, it has always been my goal to race in Formula 1, 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.”
Team Principal Franz Tost is hoping Tsunoda will be a great asset to the team moving forward, with the Austrian pleased with the consistency the Japanese racer showed during his test with the team just after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
“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. Watching him in Formula 2 this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding,” stated Tost.
“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 Formula 1.”