Japanese driver Yuki Tsunoda will drive for Formula One's Scuderia AlphaTauri in 2021, replacing Daniil Kvyat, the team announced on Wednesday.

Tsunoda finished third in this season's Formula Two Championship with Carlin, claiming seven podiums, two feature race victories and a win in a sprint race.

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The 20-year-old will be the first driver who is born in or after 2000 to race for a Formula One team.

"Like most racing drivers, it has always been my goal to race in Formula One, so I'm very happy with this news," Tsunoda said in a statement.

I realise that I will be carrying the hopes of a lot of Japanese F1 fans next year and I will be doing my best for them too.

"Red Bull has been following Yuki’s career for a while now and I am sure he will be a great asset to our team," commented AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost on Wednesday.

"Watching him in Formula 2 this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding.

"During the test in Imola in November when he drove our 2018 car, his lap times were very consistent over a race simulation, he progressed throughout the day and gave our engineers useful feedback.

His integration with the Honda engineers has been seamless, which certainly helps. At the test in Abu Dhabi this week, he proved to be a fast learner and that he is ready to make the step to Formula 1.


AlphaTauri's move leaves only one seat to be confirmed for 2021, with Red Bull yet to decide on whether to persist with Alex Albon or go with Sergio Perez who impressed with Racing Point this season but is without a seat for 2021.

Seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton is out of contract in a few weeks but it would be a major shock if the 35-year-old did not continue with Mercedes.

Kvyat, still only 26, has now been dropped three times by Red Bull in his career.

The Russian made his debut with Toro Rosso in 2014, was promoted to Red Bull Racing in 2015 and demoted again in 2016. He was then dropped by Toro Rosso in 2017 before making a comeback in 2019. He had already come to terms with his fate.

"I'll try to come back, because I feel like in the right ambience with the right people around me in the right car, which I like, I can be extremely competitive," he said in Abu Dhabi last weekend. "And I still feel like I have a lot to give."

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