Yuki Tsunoda tipped to follow in Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel’s footsteps

Chris Evans says Max Verstappen needs to 'be a bit nicer'

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AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost has tipped Yuki Tsunoda to follow in the footsteps of Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel by carving out a career with leading F1 team Red Bull. Tsunoda is a Red Bull junior driver learning his trade with their sister team, AlphaTauri.

The 21-year-old has a clear path to follow if he wants to make it to the very top and challenge for World Championships. Vettel spent two years with Toro Rosso (now called Alpha Tauri) before making the step up to Red Bull in 2009, where he went on to win four world titles.

Verstappen had a similar route to the top as he moved from Toro Rosso to the senior team in 2016. Tsunoda is only in his second season as an F1 driver but his early education is expected to give him a good grounding for a future in the sport.

“I hope that this year he will become more consistently fast. There will also be some crashes, whatever. This is the reason I always say that, to educate a driver to a really good level, you need three years minimum,” Tost told Racingnews365.com.

“The first year, it’s just completely [about] learning. It’s not only the driving, the driving is the easiest one! It’s everything around the technical side, marketing and press. Every weekend you are confronted with a new situation. I’m convinced that Yuki will do it. I’m also convinced that he can make a successful future. The rest? We will see.”

Tsunoda finished 14th in the Drivers’ Championship during his first year in F1. The Japanese star has picked up four points from the opening two races of this season. When Verstappen burst onto the scene he was often dubbed the ‘crash-kid’ because his aggressive driving style got him into trouble.

Trost believes it can take upto three years for a junior driver to really find their feet in motorsport’s premier competition. He added: “In those days, when Max came to Red Bull, it was another situation – like also when Vettel came here.

“Max won the first race [for Red Bull] in Barcelona because of the crash of the Mercedes, but it took him a while to get familiar with the team. There were some other incidents after he left Toro Rosso, which means it took him some time to learn, also at Red Bull.”

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