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Tsunoda to test for AlphaTauri at Imola

NEWS STORY
03/11/2020

Japanese rising star, Yuki Tsunoda will drive the 2018 Toro Rosso at Imola on Wednesday as Alpha Tauri ponders 2021 line-up.

Team boss, Franz Tost has previously said that the youngster is to get an FP1 outing before the end of the season, as the Faenza based outfit mulls its 2021 options.

While Pierre Gasly has already been confirmed, Daniil Kvyat served notice of his desire to retain his seat last weekend, and along with Alex Albon, who looks likely to be demoted from Red Bull at season end, there is Tsunoda.

However, despite how he might perform during the Imola test or in his FP1 outing, the youngster has to qualify for his superlicence. To do so he must finish fourth overall, and though currently third he is under intense pressure from Christian Lundgaard, Robert Shwartzman and Nikita Mazepin.

"Yuki has to get used to the F1 car," said Tost, "it's his first outing in an F1 car and Imola is not an easy track, I will instruct him in the best possible way what to do.

"We want to do a 300km run with him from the FIA to do eventually an FP1 in Bahrain or Abu Dhabi, we will see if it is necessary, it depends where he ends up in the F2 championship.

"If he is in the first four he gets the Super Licence and if he is fifth, maybe he needs two FP1s as there you get a point as well," added the Austrian.

Tost made clear however, that though a decision may not be made for some time, much will depend on Tsunoda's performance.

"I think the decision will be made soon, but we are not in a hurry," he said. "It depends also where Yuki Tsunoda ends in the championship, it's a very important factor.

"It is on his performance, nothing to do with any sponsors, this was never the case, neither at Toro Rosso or AlphaTauri," he insisted.

"We must be convinced that the driver has the necessary ability and skills to drive successfully in Formula 1, because although we are the so called sister team our brother expects good drivers from us."

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