VIDEO: Prankster Tsunoda Tricks Verstappen & Perez in ‘Faster Driver’ F1 Debate

Published 08/29/2021, 7:46 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy – April 17, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who qualified in P3 with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who qualified in P2 REUTERS/Bryn Lennon Pool via REUTERS/Bryn Lennon


As Honda parts its ways with Red Bull, it also misses an opportunity for a final race in Suzuka. Because of the race cancellation and Honda’s farewell, the Red Bull team spent some time with Yuki Tsunoda trying to learn a few Japanese phrases. With the goal to learn something useful, Tsunoda turned the tables on them and played a little prank on Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.

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Having gained their trust a bit, Yuki made the Red Bull duo admit to something a little untrue. Yuki asks Max to turn to the camera and say “Yuki is a faster driver than me.” Unbeknownst to Max, he nodded his head along as he enthusiastically repeated the phrase in Japanese. Verstappen even ended it with a strong double thumbs up.

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Proud, Yuki moved to his next victim. Checo struggled with the words and put all his focus into learning the phrase. Eventually, the Mexican got it right; Yuki had the last laugh. The duo assumed the phrase praised Yuki’s teaching skills and were pleasantly surprised at the true meaning. Checo even joked, “that’s why I couldn’t say it well!”

Verstappen leads the grid at Spa

Verstappen had tough competition from Norris and Russell in Qualifying, but eventually took his seat on the top. His first pole at Spa, Verstappen is happy with his result. With Sunday’s weather in mind, he said, “I think if it’s wet I don’t mind if I start first because at least I should have clear vision but I just hope that we have a good and clean start.”

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In contrast, his teammate Sergio Perez struggled with the wet track. Starting 7th on Sunday’s race, Perez is confident he will make his way up the grid. “It’s a shame but I’m still looking forward to tomorrow as with the weather anything can happen and so there’s plenty of opportunities.”

Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 28, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in action during qualifying REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

The sister team had contrasting results as well. Gasly sits comfortably in 6th while Tsunoda struggled; finishing 17th on the timesheets. The Japanese rookie said, “today the conditions in qualifying were definitely not easy, especially as I don’t have a lot of experience driving in the wet in a Formula 1 car.”

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As the rain poses a problem on the challenging grid, drivers are both excited and fretful of the race ahead. With a welcome change in the top 5, the first laps of the race are sure to be an interesting battle.

Watch this story: Ugliest Moments in Hamilton-Rosberg Rivalry.

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Shreya Sanjeev

323 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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