Franz Tost is expecting the first year of Yuki Tsunoda’s Formula 1 career to be very tough, although he believes it will not be long before he begins to challenge team-mate Pierre Gasly hard on track.
Tsunoda has moved up to Formula 1 after finishing third in the FIA Formula 2 championship in 2020 with Carlin, with the Japanese racer joining Gasly at Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda in place of Daniil Kvyat.
Tost, the Team Principal of AlphaTauri, says Tsunoda will take time to adapt to life at the highest level of single-seater racing, with the technical side of the car much different to anything he has previously raced in. He will also have limited seat time in pre-season testing with just three days available to teams prior to the start of the season.
The Team Principal also feels it will also be tough on Tsunoda to learn circuits he has never raced at before, although when they hit the races in Europe, Tost is expecting the twenty-year-old to come good.
“The first year for a newcomer in Formula 1 will be very tough,” Tost is quoted as saying by GPFans.com. “For example, you come to Melbourne having jet lag, a new race track and also, all day long media and marketing appointments.
“Also the technical side of the race car, this takes a while for a driver to get a handle these processes. [The lack of testing] means for a young driver he needs a lot of mental strength but also it will be very physically and challenging for the first races.
“It will be hard in the beginning when he doesn’t know the race tracks. But with the second part of the season when he knows Barcelona, Silverstone, Austria and Hungary where he races with Formula 2, I hope he will challenge Pierre and be close to him.
“My expectation is that he then also makes it to qualifying three and he starts collecting points for the team.”