Tsunoda 'immediately convinced us he was our man' - Marko
Red Bull driver development program head Helmut Marko has said 2021 AlphaTauri rookie Yuki Tsunoda "immediately convinced" him he "was our man".
Red Bull and Honda entered into a power unit partnership in 2018, with Toro Rosso running under the Japanese manufacturer's power before Red Bull fitted the system in 2019.
Although Honda announced it is pulling out of F1 at the end of 2021, Tsunoda will make the step up from F2, with Marko revealing that progressing the career of a Japanese driver was an "obvious" part of the deal.
Presented with three drivers by Honda, Marko selected Tsunoda, who finished third in this year's F2 championship.
"We brought him to Europe for a test in Budapest with a Formula 3 car from a German team and he immediately convinced us, having a fast speed and also being super fast in the turns, we knew he was our man," said Marko.
Tsunoda has flown through the junior ranks after spending three years in Japanese F4, gaining promotion from F3 and F2 after spending just one year in each category.
Marko added: "He has amazing manoeuvres for overtaking and he proved so in the last two Formula 2 races.
"This means he has an amazing speed, he is a small but smart driver, and besides his talent being a good driver, he also has good charisma which will influence the whole of Formula 1 but, of course, also Japan."
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