Tost: Tsunoda “a very high skilled driver” that “just has to get everything together”

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2023 is set to be a huge season for Yuki Tsunoda as he attempts to show he deserves a place on the F1 grid for years to come.

The Japanese driver heads into his third season at AlphaTauri in 2023. Team boss Franz Tost is hopeful that the 22-year-old makes a step forward and avoids getting into accidents.

“He should use his good driving style, his aggressive driving style and his talent,” said Tost. “Yuki is – believe me – a very high skilled driver. He just has to get everything together.

“He is now in his third season. I expect that he learned a lot in the last two years. He is very young – we must not forget. He worked really hard during the winter months, especially on the physical side with his new coach.

“I expect a good performance from both drivers.”

Tsunoda was heavily beaten by Pierre Gasly in 2021 as he struggled to adapt to F1. Last year saw the Japanese driver make a good improvement versus his former teammate, but that was hidden due to the fact the AT03 lacked speed.

Although he delivered a strong statement ahead of the team’s launch earlier this month, the AlphaTauri boss believes it’s not a make or break campaign for Tsunoda.

“I wouldn’t say make or break. He has to show performance of course,” Tost stated.

“If he races using all his abilities he has, he will bring home good results. I am convinced about this.”

Heading into the season, Tost said there is no driver getting favourable treatment.

“We don’t have a number one or number two driver. Both drivers are being treated equally.

The AlphaTauri team principal believes it is a matter of waiting and seeing who will lead on the technical side.

De Vries has raced in Formula 2, Formula E, WEC and other categories in the past, but Tsunoda is the one with far more knowledge of F1 cars at present.

“The leading driver from the technical side – we will see,” he said. “Yuki has more Formula One experience; Nyck generally has more racing experience.

“I hope they will work very closely together, and we can get the best out of both of them.”

Photos: Red Bull Content Pool