The 20-year-old Japanese racer is part of the Red Bull and Honda Junior Driver programmes and is currently lying third in the Formula 2 championship, racing with the Carlin team. Tsunoda needs to finish at least fourth in the series, with four races remaining to qualify for an F1 superlicense. In order to be able to drive during an FP1 session, which is a possibility this year, Yuki has to cover 300 kilometres in a Formula 1 car. With that in mind, he will drive our 2018 STR13 at Imola on 4th November following the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix that takes place the previous Sunday.
Before the fitting, Tsunoda was met by our Team Principal Franz Tost and other team members, had meetings with the engineers, and began familiarizing himself with other aspects of the car.
As for his target in Imola, Yuki isn’t planning on breaking any lap records just yet. “My main priority is to do those 300 kilometres,” he said. “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.”
Once the test is over, Tsunoda’s main focus will be on the remaining two F2 rounds and four races in Bahrain at the end of November and start of December. “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.”