AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost says he can see “many parallels” between rookie Yuki Tsunoda and other Formula 1 talents the team has had in the past.

Tsunoda was labelled as the “best rookie F1 has had for years” by F1 boss Ross Brawn for his impressive debut in Bahrain as he battled through from 13th on the grid to score points in his first grand prix.

AlphaTauri - formerly Toro Rosso - is renowned for developing top F1 talent for its sister team Red Bull and has brought through the likes of four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen in the past.

When asked by how Tsunoda compares to other talents the team has had, Tost said: “You know there are many parallels to other drivers that we had in the Red Bull driver pool.

“First of all they are all talented, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the pool. For second, they are focused and they are orientated and disciplined just to perform well.

“What impresses me about Yuki is that he is learning quite fast,” he added. “He is very strong under braking. He has real good car control and he gives already quite a good feedback about the behaviour of the car and helps the engineers in setting up the car and this is not so usual for someone who is coming directly from Formula 2.

“Therefore in Bahrain, I must say that all weekend he did a good job and I hope that we can provide him here with a car that is reliable because I am convinced that tomorrow he can do a qualifying three. And this is the target.”


20 year-old Tsunoda’s F1 graduation has followed a rapid rise through the single-seater ranks, featuring just a sole season in both Formula 3 and Formula 2, where he claimed a third-place finish in his rookie campaign in 2020.

“I don’t think it’s so difficult,” Tost said of the challenge of stepping up from F2 to F1. “It depends always on the driver. It depends on his skills.

“It depends on how much time you have and he takes to prepare that driver for Formula 1 and we had with Yuki we had quite an intensive winter testing programme – not only on the track but also in the factory when he was there.

“Thanks to Coronavirus he was not allowed to go to England and therefore he spent a lot of time with his engineers and I think this helped a lot.

“I must also say that the drivers that are coming up now from Formula 3, Formula 2, they are really well prepared – especially from the driving side.

“Why? Because most of them start with racing at six or seven years old in karting and then they do 10 years karting and then they have Formula 4 for one or two years and then Formula 3 and Formula 2 and that means they have a lot of race experience already and the speed in Formula 1 they get adapted quite soon with this. I don’t think this is a major problem.

“And then it depends on how skilled the driver is, how deep is the ingredient from the learning curve and how motivated and disciplined he is to get forward.”