Yuki Tsunoda is determined to make Japanese Formula 1® fans proud after it was announced that he will replace Daniil Kvyat at AlphaTauri next season.
Tsunoda will take Kvyat's seat and partner Pierre Gasly at Red Bull's sister team in 2021 after he was named Formula 2® rookie of the year.
The 20-year-old will be the 18th driver from Japan to race in F1® and the first since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014.
Tsunoda, who finished third in the 2020 F2 season for Carlin, is ready to grab his opportunity with both hands
He said on Wednesday: "Like most racing drivers, it has always been my goal to race in Formula 1®, so I am very happy with this news.
"I want to thank Scuderia AlphaTauri, Red Bull and Dr. Marko [Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut] for giving me this opportunity, and of course everyone from Honda, for all their support so far in my career, giving me great opportunities to race in Europe.
"I must also thank the teams that I have raced with to get to this point, particularly Carlin, with whom I have learned so much this year. I realise that I will be carrying the hopes of a lot of Japanese F1® fans next year and I will be doing my best for them too."
Tsunoda's promotion comes after he clocked up 300 kilometres in a 2018 F1® car during testing at Imola before taking part in a Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi this week.
AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost said: "Red Bull has been following Yuki's career for a while now and I am sure he will be a great asset to our team.
"Watching him in Formula 2® this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding. During the test in Imola in November when he drove our 2018 car, his lap times were very consistent over a race simulation, he progressed throughout the day and gave our engineers useful feedback.
"In addition, his integration with the Honda engineers has been seamless, which certainly helps. At the test in Abu Dhabi this week, he proved to be a fast learner and that he is ready to make the step to Formula 1®."