Yuki Tsunoda confirmed at AlphaTauri for 2021!

AlphaTauri confirms Yuki Tsunoda for 2021.
© AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri has confirmed that Yuki Tsunoda will make his Formula 1 debut and partner Pierre Gasly at the team next season, in place of Daniil Kvyat.

The 20-year-old Japanese driver is part of both the Red Bull Junior Team and Honda’s young driver programme and this year has been racing for the Carlin team in Formula 2.

Tsunoda had been widely tipped to get the nod after securing enough points to earn a Formula 1 superlicense as a result of his third place in this year's F2 championship, having previously won the F4 Japanese Championship in 2018,

His maiden season in F2 saw him secure seven podiums, two feature race victories and a sprint race win.

He's taking part in this week's young driver test in Abu Dhabi having previously driven an older spec car at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit in Imola.

“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," commented AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost on Wednesday.

"Watching him in Formula 2 this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding.

"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.

"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.”

Yuki Tsunoda driving for AlphaTauri in the 2020 post-season test at Abu Dhab

© AlphaTauri

Tsunoda himself was delighted to be able to confirm his promotion to the top rank of motorsport.

“Like most racing drivers, it has always been my goal to race in Formula 1, so I am very happy with this news," he said. "I want to thank Scuderia AlphaTauri, Red Bull and Doctor 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," he continued.

"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.”

Tsunoda will be the first Japanese driver to compete in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi participated in the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter