Red Bull-backed Yuki Tsunoda may receive a Formula 1 free practice outing this year amid speculation that he will race full-time for AlphaTauri in 2021.
Tsunoda is a Red Bull junior driver, who is also backed by its power unit supplier Honda, and is currently third in the Formula 2 standings with two rounds remaining.
The 20-year-old needs to finish fourth or higher to obtain an FIA Super Licence, which will allow him to race in F1 next season, ostensibly alongside Pierre Gasly.
With a private, post-Imola F1 run and an outing in the young driver test at Abu Dhabi already lined up, AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost has revealed that Tsunoda’s programme could be extended further with an FP1 bow this year.
“The driver line-up is not decided yet for next year,” Tost said.
“The programme with Yuki, we had him in the factory last week to make his seat because after the race in Imola we will do a 300 km test.
“Maybe, this is not decided yet, he will do FP1 once.”
Tost added that only after the season ends will Red Bull decide who will drive for its sister team in 2021.
“He [Tsunoda] has another two races in Bahrain and we will see where he is finishing the F2 Championship with regards to the super licence.
“Then he will do the Abu Dhabi young driver test and then Red Bull will decide who will be the driver line-up will be for AlphaTauri in 2021.”
Max Verstappen is the only Red Bull-affiliated driver tied down for next season.