Carlin racer Yuki Tsunoda is one of number of drivers bidding for both the Formula 2 title, and a seat in Formula 1 next season, and his pathway to the latter just became a little bit smoother, with Alpha Tauri announcing that the Red Bull junior will make his Formula 1 test debut with them next month at Imola.
Tsunoda will take to the cockpit of the 2018 STR13 on November 4, in the week following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, which also takes place in Imola.
Alpha Tauri have also confirmed that the Japanese racer is being considered for a Free Practice 1 drive this season. Providing he completes 300 kilometres in the Alpha Tauri at Imola, Tsunoda will then qualify for a basic Super Licence, which will allow him to run in FP1.
“My main priority is to do those 300 kilometres,” Tsunoda explained. “I don’t want to crash or go off the track because the more mileage I do, the more I can understand the car, so I will take it easy. But I am confident that I can do it and I will drive the way I normally do.
“I will focus on my job while enjoying my first day in a Formula 1 car. I am sure I will be very excited when I’m sitting in the car waiting for the green light at the end of the pit lane.”
The two-time F2 racer winner had his first seat fitting in the car on Tuesday, October 13, in preparation for his maiden outing in an F1 car. Prior to the fitting, he spoke with Alpha Tauri Team Principal Franz Tost, as well as meeting with the team’s engineers.
On the young driver, Tost said: “Yuki Tsunoda is doing a fantastic job in F2, he won two races - one in Spa, one in Silverstone and in Austria in wet conditions he was leading for a long time and because of radio problem, he finished only second.
“He has the natural speed, he has the skills and the rest, we will see.”
Following the test in Imola, Tsunoda’s attention will switch back to F2, with the Carlin driver currently third in the Championship with two rounds to go.