AlphaTauri has launched their AT02 car which will be driven by Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda in the 2021 Formula One season.
Gasly remains with the team for a second full season after their rebrand last season from their old name of Toro Rosso, although he will be joined by rookie, Yuki Tsunoda who replaces Daniil Kvyat following the Russian’s exit at the end of last season.
AlphaTauri this season has opted for a matte blue and white livery and white tyre rims in a change from last year’s white livery, which Gasly drove to a maiden F1 victory at Monza in a thrilling race.
Speaking at the digital launch on the decision to retain Gasly and promote Tsunoda, Team Principal, Franz Tost said: “The decision to go for Pierre and Yuki in 2021 was taken because Scuderia AlphaTauri’s philosophy is still to give talented young drivers from the Red Bull Junior Program the opportunity to step up to F1 and to educate them.”
On how Gasly can help his Japanese rookie, Tost was confident that both can achieve good results whilst Yuki develop quicker, saying: “With Pierre on Yuki’s side we have an experienced driver, who can help our Japanese rookie to develop faster, but at the same time we can aim for good results.”
With this season currently scheduled to contain 23 races, Gasly is confident that he is ready to step up and help Tsunoda to improve, saying: “I’m ready to take on the role of team leader. Yuki is a very quick driver, and he will help us move the team forward – we will work together to achieve that.”
The 25 year-old also spoke of his strong 2020 season feeling like the team’s ‘best’ in terms of how they worked as a unit, alongside strong development, management and race performance although Gasly is ‘hungry’ to achieve more success this season.
Tsunoda has already run some private tests in old cars as he gets acquainted with the team, with the Japanese feeling that he has already formed ‘strong relationships’ and is constantly learning a lot from the team – including Gasly who he hailed as ‘an incredible talent.’
The young Japanese driver who finished third in F2 last season with three wins added: “My main goal is to learn quickly and deliver results as soon as possible, and I’m really excited to get started.”
Racing action will commence in Bahrain in a single pre-season test from 12-14 March, ahead of the season opener a fortnight later at the same circuit following Australia’s postponement until November.
This content was originally published here.