“You can’t prepare a driver in a day-and-a-half”- Franz Tost complains about the short testing window in Bahrain ahead of the season start.
Yuki Tsunoda will probably be the most inexperienced driver on the grid, with only performing one season in Formula 2 before being promoted to Formula 1 for Alpha Tauri.
However, his first spell in an F1 car will be after a brief preparation window, and Franz Tost is therefore clear that one must not expect huge things from Tsunoda this season.
“You can’t prepare a driver well if you’re only sitting in a Formula 1 car for a day-and-a-half as a newcomer,” Tost told Motorsport-Magazin.com.
“When Yuki got the super-licence after finishing a great third in Formula 2 last year, it was clear we had to find a corresponding winter testing programme for him.
“It was a huge effort. We brought the mechanics here three weeks ago. They were then quarantined for two weeks; otherwise, it wouldn’t work.
“He should have completed about 3,000 kilometres in a Formula 1 car by the start of the season and understand, at least in broad terms, what this is all about.”
Alpha Tauri arranged a private test session for Tsunoda at Imola and Misano using the 2019 STR14 Toro Rosso, refurbished in Alpha Tauri’s colours.
Why wasn’t Pierre Gasly there?
Pierre Gasly was also instructed to be a part of the test session, but he caught COVID-19 in UAE and was sent in quarantine. Though, Tost tells his team needs to recover the deficit of Gasly missing a crucial session.
“Pierre was supposed to be in the car in Misano but because he tested positive for Covid-19, the test day fell through for him,” Tost added. “Now we have to see how we put together another programme for Pierre.”
“It’s not just about the test; it’s also about photo opportunities and so on. We have to postpone all of this a little bit. But let’s see it positively – better now than during the season.”