Scuderia AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost has spoken about his delight to be retaining Yuki Tsunoda for the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season but has gone on to warn the Japanese driver that his third season in the sport will be the ultimate proving ground for him to showcase his development.
Tsunoda was rewarded with his seat in the AlphaTauri team after an impressive FIA Formula 2 Championship season in 2020 where he finished third in the overall standings amassing two-hundred points across the season.
The twenty-two-year-old was able to rise from the chaos of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to claim his best finish so far in the sport as Tsunoda crossed the finish line in fifth place.
Currently sitting in sixteenth place in the Drivers’ Standings with eleven points to his name, Tsunoda has faced his fair share of criticism across his short time in Formula 1, mainly due to him being unafraid to share his true feelings over the radio. While Tsunoda has been able to cut out the majority of mistakes from his rookie season, he has still not been immune to the occasional error, including his crash out of the pit lane at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Despite his issues across his first two seasons in Formula 1, Tsunoda has been able to display an impressive level of pace on occasion and because of that Tost believes the Japanese driver deserves to retain his seat.
“As we’ve seen since he joined us last year, Yuki is a very talented driver and has improved a lot this season. The pace he has shown recently is clear evidence of a steep learning curve, which proves he deserves a seat in F1, and I still expect some strong results from him in the last six races of 2022.
Franz Tost would go on to thank Dr. Helmut Marko and the Red Bull Driver Programme for allowing Tsunoda the chance to ‘show his full potential’ in Formula 1.
“As I always say, a driver needs at least three years to fully get to grips with Formula 1, so I’m pleased he’s been given the time to show his full potential. In addition, it’s a testament to Dr. Marko and his driver programme that we’re able to bring these young talents up from the junior categories and develop them.
“I’d like to join Yuki in thanking Red Bull and AlphaTauri, as well as Honda, for their continuous support and for allowing him to stay with us for another year.”