Several weeks ago, a source told Formula1News.co.uk that Yuki Tsunoda will join Scuderia AlphaTauri next season unless he fails to get a Super Licence.
The Italy-based team is yet to confirm its second driver for 2021, but Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has since indicated that Yuki Tsunoda is first in line to join Scuderia AlphaTauri.
Speaking at this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix, Horner said Alex Albon will spend “a year on the bench” if he is dropped by Red Bull rather than him being immediately given a second chance at the sister team, like Pierre Gasly was last year.
“I don’t believe he [Albon] forms part of Franz [Tost’s] plans for next year, so it´s very much a Red Bull seat or a year on the bench,” Horner told reporters earlier this week.
Instead, Japanese F2 driver Yuki Tsunoda is first in line for the second Scuderia AlphaTauri seat.
However, with no guarantee that Tsunoda will qualify for a Super Licence, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has revealed that they have a back-up plan in place.
“We have a plan B of course, and there’s absolutely no doubt that in Melbourne [next season} AlphaTauri will have two cars on the starting grid with two very competitive drivers,” Tost said at Sakhir.
It’s unclear if this “plan B” is retaining Daniil Kvyat, signing Alex Albon or bringing in a driver from outside the Red Bull talent pool, such as Nico Hulkenberg or Sergio Perez.