AlphaTauri F1 team finally unveiled their 2021 car, AT02, and it looks stunning, with Black going off the radar. And with the unveiling done, the team is all set to focus on the forthcoming 2021 season. But the livery isn’t the only surprise element from the Italian team.
AlphaTauri will also possess one of the youngest drivers on the grid in Yuki Tsunoda. After spending just one season in Formula 2, Red Bull were convinced with the 20-year-old’s pace, as they pushed him to the top-most step of the FIA-led racing series.
What does Tsunoda’s entry mean for Pierre Gasly? Well, he will now be leading the team, taking over the mantle from Daniil Kvyat.
And rightly so, the Frenchman is ready to carry his team to glory, come the 2021 season. Furthermore, he also revealed the reason why Red Bull handed Tsunoda a drive in F1 at such a young age.
Speaking to AlphaTauri, Gasly opened up that Tsunoda’s mind-blowing performance in F2 opened the floodgates for his entry into Formula 1.
“Of course, Yuki’s arrival means I will have more responsibility within the team and I’m ready to take on the role of team leader,” he said.
However, he is a very quick driver. And he will help us move the team forward. I know Yuki. He is a competitive guy and showed what he can do in F2. That’s why he was promoted to F1 after just one year.
Tsunoda had a rather applaudable Formula 2 season with Carlin Racing. Although he looked a bit lost through the season’s first half, he found his groove at the most crucial point of the year.
He constantly secured podiums and race wins, as he almost caught up to the rivalry of Callum Ilott and Mick Schumacher. However, he had to settle for P3, which was more than enough for Red Bull to give him the nod for a full-time F1 outing.
Although the Frenchman lauded his new teammate’s racing ability, Gasly felt that the Tsunoda’s lack of experience could still place him in the back seat amongst such a competitive grid.
“He lacks experience. So it won’t always be easy for him,” he said. “But I think he is talented and it will also be up to me and the team to lead the way.”
AlphaTauri have been following an upward trajectory in terms of pace. And by the end of 2020, they almost caught the leading mid-field teams, Racing Point, McLaren, and Renault. Hence, going into the 2021 season, it would be unfair not to expect much from the Italian team.
Moreover, with such a power-packed driver’s line-up, AlphaTauri could well rise up as a huge threat to their rivals. Who knows, they may as well become the next ‘best of the rest’ team. Hence, will they manage to take over the throne amidst rising threats, McLaren and Aston Martin?