Yuki Tsunoda’s current boss in Formula 2, Trevor Carlin, has no doubts that the Japanese driver will be on the F1 grid next season.
Tsunoda has been hugely impressive in his first season in F2. He currently has two wins to his name and is P3 in the Drivers Championship behind Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott. If he finishes there, he will have enough ‘super licence’ points to race in Formula 1.
Both he and Schumacher are expected to be rewarded for their efforts with a seat in the top category next year, at AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo respectively.
Carlin believes that this will be the case, and says that, of the two, Tsunoda is the faster driver.
“Certainly Mick’s a shoo-in for Alfa, I’d say Yuki will be a shoo-in for AlphaTauri,” he told Reuters.
“I think Yuki’s the fastest driver out there, he’s just had too many DNFs and incidents that have cost him the championship really.
“He’s the real deal. He learns so quickly. He’s the first one that really has come in and hit it hard. He’s a rookie fighting for the title and that hasn’t happened with a Japanese driver for a long, long time.”
— Scuderia AlphaTauri (@AlphaTauriF1) October 14, 2020
Tsunoda will drive the 2018 AlphaTauri at Imola on November 4th with the aim of doing enough mileage to ensure he’s qualified to take part in an FP1 session for the team later this season.
“My main priority is to do those 300 kilometres,” he said on Wednesday during his seat fitting.
“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.”
Another high profile name on Carlin’s books is David Schumacher, son of Ralf, who drove for the Carlin F3 team in the final three races of the 2020 campaign.
Carlin isn’t yet certain that the 19-year-old is good enough to make it to F1 on talent alone, but feels that his surname and connections will help him do so.
“David, in reality, will be three years away from an F1 opportunity, and he’s got to perform and have the roll of the dice when there’s a seat available,” he added.
“I wouldn’t like to say whether he can make it on merit alone but if he keeps improving as a driver, with his name and contacts, I would say it’s possible.”