Pierre Gasly isn’t sure whether his teammate Yuki Tsunoda is ready to lead Alpha Tauri from the cockpit.
Frenchman Gasly is leaving the Red Bull orbit to join Renault-owned Alpine next year, as he is replaced by the highly rated 27-year-old rookie Nyck de Vries.
Team boss Franz Tost admits it’s a risk.
“If we have problems in the car, then I think that it will not be so easy to sort out everything, because Nyck hasn’t so much Formula 1 experience and Yuki is still in a learning process.
“But I think that Yuki next year should be matured enough to give technical guidance.”
Japanese Tsunoda, 22, is in his second year in F1 with Alpha Tauri, and despite obvious speed is often criticised for being hot-headed.
“Everything that comes into his head flies out of his mouth instantly,” Gasly laughed to motorsport-total.com.
“He is a unique character, he has a great sense of humour, he’s unfiltered, which sometimes is amazing. But he’s a great guy.
“I’ve liked the last two years that I spent in this year. Yuki made progress and developed as a person,” said the 26-year-old.
As for whether Tsunoda is ready to take Gasly’s driver leadership position in 2023, the Frenchman said: “I guess only time will tell if Yuki has what it takes to become a team leader.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he continues to improve next season, because he knows what he needs to work on – self-control. But he is surrounded by good people so that he can keep developing as a driver,” Gasly added.