Yuki Tsunoda has declared it a "dream come true" to be confirmed as a Formula 1 driver with AlphaTauri for the 2021 season.
The Italian team announced the 20-year-old will replace Daniil Kvyat next year, making him the first Japanese driver to race in the sport since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014.
Despite all his years of hard work coming to fruition, Tsunoda knows the real graft is only just beginning.
"It is a dream come true to be an F1 driver but my goal is to actually perform well in F1," said Tsunoda, who will partner Pierre Gasly.
"It takes teamwork to be able to perform, [but] I am really confident that we can produce some good results."
Asked which races he was looking forward to most, Tsunoda narrowed his choices to three.
"First Monza," he revealed. "Obviously, it's the home of AlphaTauri and I have gotten a lot of messages from Italian fans. They're really passionate and I cannot wait to race there.
"Monaco has always been my dream circuit. I have yet to race there so I'm very much looking forward to that one.
"Lastly, but not least, Suzuka. Being able to race in front of a home crowd will mean a lot to me. I need to have my best performance there."
Tsunoda has been promoted into an F1 seat after only one year in feeder series F2 in which he finished third in the standings with two feature race wins and a sprint race victory to his name.
But it was not until completing a test in the 2018 Toro Rosso at Imola in November that he began to seriously think about F1 for the first time.
"It didn't cross my mind at all, I was all in on Formula 2," he said. "Test driving at Imola was the first real occasion where I had actually thought about it. From that point on I started to be a bit more conscious about Formula 1.
"But all that was meaningless if I didn't get my super license, which is really hard to obtain. So my focus was to finish the season."
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