Franz Tost is hopeful that Yuki Tsunoda has learned his lessons after a rollercoaster rookie season in the sport, and that Red Bull's faith in him is rewarded during his second term with AlphaTauri.
Tsunoda was given the nod by Red Bull to step up to AlphaTauri from Formula 2 for 2021 but, despite a strong start with points in his first race, struggled for any form or consistency as he had a season full of incidents and accidents.
A mid-season move to Italy helped him find some focus, while Red Bull's decision to pair him up with Alex Albon as a 'driver coach/student' duo seemed to settle Tsunoda in the closing stages of the season.
Tost has faith in Tsunoda: "We'll get the fruit!"
With AlphaTauri missing out on fifth place in the 2021 Constructors' Championship to Alpine by 13 points, Tost refused to point the finger at Tsunoda's inexperience as the deciding factor.
"Of course on experience, if you compare it, Pierre had 100 points (110 - Editor), Yuki got 20 points (32 points - Editor)," Tost told RacingNews365.com in an exclusive interview.
"But this was clear to me at the beginning of the season. That's the price you have to pay for a rookie driver."
Tsunoda ended the season on a high note with his best-ever finish as he claimed fourth place in Abu Dhabi, and Tost is hopeful the rocky patch is behind his young charger.
"This is the education process, and I think that the fruits, for the team AlphaTauri and also Red Bull, we'll get them in the next year," he said.
"When Yuki gets more and more experience, of course he will score more points. But, once, you must bite the sour apple, and that's how it is."
Gasly doing a "fantastic job" for AlphaTauri
On the other side of the AlphaTauri garage, Pierre Gasly is practically a seasoned veteran as he enters his fifth full season racing in F1.
Having scored the vast majority of AlphaTauri's points in 2021, Tost is hopeful that the team can give the French driver another strong car this season as he's shown that he can maximise the equipment he's given on a consistent basis.
"I'm more than happy with him, that he improved so fantastically and dramatically," Tost beamed.
"His learning curve is still going up – that's important as well.
"I must say that Pierre is doing a fantastic job and I hope that also, next year, we will provide him a good and competitive package, because then he will be there within the top six or seven all the time."
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