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Japanese star Tsunoda earns AlphaTauri Imola test

Japanese star Tsunoda earns AlphaTauri Imola test

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Japanese star Tsunoda earns AlphaTauri Imola test

Japanese star Tsunoda earns AlphaTauri Imola test

Yuki Tsunoda will complete a day of running for AlphaTauri at Imola in November to spark renewed rumours of a 2021 drive.

Japanese Formula 2 driver Tsunoda has backing from both Red Bull and Honda but, after the manufacturer decided to quit F1 at the end of 2021, it appeared the 20-year-old's chances of making the step up had dissipated.

AlphaTauri, however, has now confirmed Tsunoda, who sits third in the F2 standings behind Ferrari academy drivers Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott, will get a chance in Toro Rosso's 2018 STR13 on November 4 after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

The 20-year-old needs to finish at least fourth in F2 to qualify for a superlicence.

In order to drive during an FP1 session this season, which remains a possibility this year, Tsunoda has to cover 300 kilometres in an F1 car.

"My main priority is to do those 300 kilometres,” said Tsunoda. “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.”

With AlphaTauri yet to name its driver line-up for next season, the opportunity for Tsunoda naturally lends itself to suggestions he is set for an F1 drive, providing he secures his superlicence.

With two rounds and four races remaining of the F2 season, Tsunoda is hoping his F1 run out will provide him with added impetus going into those events in Bahrain.

Although trailing Schumacher by 43 points, Tsunoda added: “As I said before, fourth is my minimum target, but I’m a racing driver, so I want to win and come first.

"And I’m sure this Formula 1 test will give me extra motivation and confidence.”

The test will take place just three days after the F1 race at the circuit that was last visited by the sport in 2006.

AlphaTauri has completed running at Imola this year, using the circuit for its filming days where both Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly lapped in the current car and the 2018 Toro Rosso STR13.

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