AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says he has been impressed by Yuki Tsunoda over the course of the opening pre-season test.
Tsunoda endured a challenging rookie season in Formula 1, failing to score half the total points tally of team mate Pierre Gasly and making a number of costly errors in qualifying session and races during the year.
However, Tsunoda ended the season with his best result of the year in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, taking fourth from Valtteri Bottas after the controversial final lap restart.
Tsunoda was unable to run in the AT03 during the final day on Friday after the car was damaged when Gasly spun off the circuit. However on Wednesday Tsunoda clocked 121 laps of running over the course of the first day. Tost says Tsunoda had a good start to the pre-season.
“Yuki is in his second season, which means he is now a lot more experienced as a last year, and I was really impressed by his first test date,” Tost said.
“He was fast, no mistakes, nothing and very good feedback also from the technical side. And also the team improved. I expect that we will be better than last year and that we will finish, as I always say around fifth position in the constructors championship. Or better – it’s not forbidden.”
With the first test completed, Tost was cautious about offering any suggestions of how he felt the team compared to their rivals over the first three days.
“It’s too early to say where we are from the performance side,” he said. “Generally speaking, I expect a successful season from us. Why? Because as I mentioned before, the basis of the car is good.
“I am convinced that our engineers will go in the right direction for the development steps. We have two very good drivers. Fortunately we don’t have any reliability issues because that’s quite important.”
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