Tost predicts a "very tough" start for F1 rookie Tsunoda
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has warned new driver Yuki Tsunoda will face a "very tough" start to life in Formula 1.
Tsunoda will make the step up from Formula 2 to replace Russian Daniil Kvyat as Pierre Gasly's team-mate but faces the prospect of racing on unfamiliar circuits with minimal pre-season testing due to a reduced schedule.
However, Tost is prepared to give his new driver plenty of time to learn with Tsunoda earning his promotion after one year of racing in F2 and having left national level F4 at the end of 2018.
"The first year for a newcomer in Formula 1 will be very tough," said Tost. "For example, you come to Melbourne having jet lag, a new race track and also, all day long media and marketing appointments.
"Also the technical side of the race car, this takes a while for a driver to get a handle these processes."
A single three-day test will precede the 2021 season, a 50 per cent reduction in testing time compared to this year, and Tost believes this further adds to the challenge facing the three F1 rookies, with Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin also joining the grid with Haas.
He added: "[The lack of testing] means for a young driver he needs a lot of mental strength but also it will be very physically and challenging for the first races."
While accepting the challenges of the early races, Tost made clear he expects Tsunoda to start bringing home points when on more familiar circuits in Europe.
"It will be hard in the beginning when he doesn't know the race tracks," said Tost.
"But with the second part of the season when he knows Barcelona, Silverstone, Austria and Hungary where he races with Formula 2, I hope he will challenge Pierre and be close to him.
"My expectation is that he then also makes it to qualifying three and he starts collecting points for the team."
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