GULFWEEKLY: Formula 1 newcomer Yuki Tsunoda is revving up for the F1 pre-season testing, set to take place in Bahrain for the first time since 2014, from March 12 to 14.
The 20-year-old driver is set to take the AlphaTauri seat alongside Pierre Gasly and took some time during the team’s car launch last weekend at their head office in Italy to talk about his aspirations for his first pre-season test and his debut F1 season.
“I want to be the first Japanese driver to win a race in Formula 1,” the young ace said.
“This year, we will only get one-and-a-half days each for testing in Bahrain. We have a lot of items to test and we are going to be changing some setting or the other in every session. So I am going to be focusing on their feedback and how we can optimise the setups. Bahrain’s going to be really busy for the team and I am looking forward to learning from Pierre. Since I was watching his pace during last season’s Bahrain race, I know his exact benchmarks and data I will be trying to beat, and I am really looking forward to the Bahrain test!”
Tsunoda will be one of three rookies to F1, the others being Mick Schumacher, son of the famous F1 world champion Michael Schumacher, and Nikita Mazepin, both of whom will be driving for Haas.
The three drivers, who topped the F2 charts last season, will be expected to turn the fortunes of their respective teams - Tsunoda and Schumacher in terms of podiums and wins, Mazepin and Schumacher in terms of financial sponsorship.
The pre-season testing will be followed by the season-opener two weeks later, from March 26 to 28.