The 21-year-old Japanese racer impressed with an aggressive drive to score points on his F1 debut in Bahrain but has gone on to have several costly incidents since, including crashing out of qualifying and spinning in the race at Imola.

Further crashes followed in France and Hungary, but Tsunoda recovered from his FP1 shunt at Budapest by recording his best result of the season with a strong drive to sixth place in the race.

Tsunoda said at the Dutch Grand Prix that he he viewed his chances of remaining with AlphaTauri for next season at “fifty-fifty” but his stay alongside Pierre Gasly was confirmed on Tuesday.

“To be honest when I got asked last week, I knew already a little bit,” Tsunoda said ahead of this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix. “I can’t say anything about next year’s contract but I’m really excited of course.

“The first half of the season was quite inconsistent, so also from my side, I was a bit surprised I’ll be staying for next year.

“First of all thanks to the team and I’m really excited again for this opportunity next year. Just for this year I will learn as much as possible.”

Asked why he was surprised by his renewal, Tsunoda replied: “Because I just keep crashing and spend lots of money for the team.

“It’s not a good way to end the first half of the season, especially in Hungary I went onto the wall in FP1 and ruined the whole session, almost two sessions.

“I got asked by Franz [Tost, AlphaTauri team principal] and Helmut [Marko, Red Bull motorsport advisor] that I need a more consistent result for driving and more discipline in the sessions.

“I couldn’t improve fully in the first half of the season. Also I was able to score points but Hungary was a bit lucky.

“So it was mixed feelings, sometimes doing well and sometimes not. So that’s why I would say it was surprising.”

Tsunoda, who has scored just 18 points of AlphaTauri’s 84-point haul so far in 2021, said his target for the rest of the season and next year is to finish inside the top 10 on a more regular basis.

“My target is clear for next year but I’m focused on this year,” he added. “Of course next year I have to be more consistent and have to perform well, scoring points.

“But we can’t expect anything for next year, it’s a completely new car, anything can change. Just want to focus on the rest of the season and fight for the points in the championship.”