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F2 rookie of the year Tsunoda to drive for AlphaTauri in post-Abu Dhabi young driver test

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BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - DECEMBER 06: 2020 F2 third placed driver Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Carlin poses

Formula 1 hopeful Yuki Tsunoda is to drive for AlphaTauri in the Abu Dhabi young driver test on December 15, after he finished third in the 2020 Formula 2 Championship and won the Anthoine Hubert Award for Best Rookie.

The Japanese driver, who is a candidate for the AlphaTauri seat alongside Pierre Gasly in 2021 – if Daniil Kvyat is not retained by the Faenza team – tested their 2018 F1 car at Imola after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

READ MORE: ‘My dream is to be world champion’ – Yuki Tsunoda on his F1 ambitions and impressing Helmut Marko

He impressed last weekend with pole position and victory in the Bahrain F2 Feature Race, and has now been rewarded with a Super Licence and young driver test seat in the 2020 AlphaTauri AT01.

“I am really looking forward to testing with Scuderia AlphaTauri,” he said. “I enjoyed driving one of the team’s 2018 cars at Imola a few weeks back and I can’t wait to try the current car, taking part in an official test session with all the other cars on track.

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Tsunoda tested a 2018 AlphaTauri F1 car at Imola

“I really appreciate how everyone at Scuderia AlphaTauri has helped me to prepare for this session, and I also want to thank Red Bull and Dr [Helmut] Marko for giving me this opportunity. During the session, my focus will be on following the team’s instructions and giving my feedback to the engineers. It will also be a chance for me to learn as much as possible and help my own personal development.”

AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost added that Tsunoda will provide “valuable” feedback during the mid-December test.

“Yuki showed at the test in Imola that he is a fast learner, able to easily get familiar with the car and was able to constantly improve every lap, so we decided to have him test with us at the young driver test on the Wednesday after the race,” said Tost.

READ MORE: W Series announces provisional 2021 race calendar, supporting eight Formula 1 races

“I’m convinced he will make a good step forward having a full day in the car, and this time he will be driving the AT01, so his feedback will be even more valuable for our engineers. It’s great to see that the Red Bull Driver Programme can prepare young drivers so well, and I have no doubts he will prove his talent once again.”

AlphaTauri head into the season finale Abu Dhabi Grand Prix seventh in the standings, 28 points behind Ferrari.

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