Yuki Tsunoda Cites Verstappen’s Example While Downplaying Age Factor Ahead of F1 Debut

Published 02/20/2021, 3:55 AM EST
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN – DECEMBER 06: 2020 F2 third placed driver, F2 driver of the Year and winner of the Anthoine Hubert Rookie of the Year prize, Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Carlin poses for a photo with his trophies during the Formula 2 Championship Prize Giving Ceremony at Bahrain International Circuit on December 06, 2020 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


Max Verstappen entered the F1 grid in 2015 as the youngest ever Formula 1 driver. This season, Yuki Tsunoda is making his debut with AlphaTauri and is the youngest F1 driver on the grid. The first driver from the 2000s, the 20-year-old is following in the footsteps of the Dutchman.

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While most people would think that he would feel intimidated entering the grid so young, in a recent interview, Tsunoda explained why age does not matter.

“I don’t think it’s worth putting too much emphasis on age – as Max Verstappen was 17 when he started – but I feel it’s an honour to be the first driver on the grid to be born in 2000,” said the Japanese racer.

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SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 10: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Carlin prepares for the Practice for the Formula 2 Championship at Red Bull Ring on July 10, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Japanese engine manufacturer Honda has backed Yuki’s Formula 1 career, and some argue that Tsunoda landed and AlphaTauri seat because of that very reason. However, his P3 finish and three wins in the F2 season warrant his F1 promotion.

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Yuki Tsunoda explains his Formula 1 goal

The Japanese racer explained that his goal has always been to reach Formula 1. Tsunoda also acknowledged that you also need some luck to win deliver results.

NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Race winner Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Carlin celebrates on the podium during the sprint race of the Formula 2 Championship at Silverstone on August 09, 2020 in Northampton, England. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

“I knew I always had to give my best at all times. It was in my hands to stand out and impress the bosses, who can make your dream come true.

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In every series, you need to develop a strong pace very quickly, so I was committed to doing well right from the start of my career,” said Tsunoda.

The most important thing going into F1 will be to learn and adapt as soon as possible. The F1 series is much more tasking and harder than the F2 championship.

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Do you think Yuki Tsunoda has what it takes to become the first Japanese driver to win a Formula 1 race?

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Ayush Manjunath

586 articles

Ayush Manjunath is a Formula 1 author for EssentiallySports with more than 500 articles to his name. A Law graduate and a current Sports Management student, Ayush also has a certificate from UCLA on Sports, Media and Entertainment Management. He has an undying love for motorsports and lives to see Max Verstappen, George Russell, Charles Leclerc, and Lando Norris battle for the championship one day!

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