Yuki Tsunoda Targeting Verstappen as Key F1 Rival in Debut Season

Published 03/27/2021, 4:55 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda during the press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS


Yuki Tsunoda enters his rookie season of Formula One with AlphaTauri. He considers Max Verstappen as a powerful enemy on the grid. Tsunoda wants to learn everything about the Dutchman and how he can defeat him.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The young Japanese driver will be a partner up with Pierre Gasly in the upcoming season of Formula One. The team finished 7th in the constructor’s championship last year with 107 points.

Gasly finished 7th in the first practice session while Tsunoda took 14th place on the timesheet. While in FP2 Tsunoda came 7th, and Gasly took 9th place on the timesheet.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda arrives at the circuit ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Yuki Tsunoda considers Red Bull prodigy, Verstappen a rival and wants to beat him

In an article by The Player’s Tribune, he said, “When I first went to see F1 at Fuji Speedway at the age of 7, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were running. At that time, I wasn’t longing for it, but I was thinking, “I want to race with these drivers someday,” and that feeling is still the same.

“Hamilton is already a legend, and it’s a great honor to run with him, but when he enters the circuit, Hamilton and Alonso are the same driver. I think it’s an enemy.

“It’s the same for Max Verstappen, who I think is the fastest and most powerful enemy in F1, and Pierre Gasly, my teammate at AlphaTauri. I want to know quickly how much I can handle Verstappen and how much I can fight.”

Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – December 11, 2020 AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda arrives at the Yas Marina Circuit Hamad I Mohammed/Pool via REUTERS

Consequently, his French teammate, Gasly, has some high expectations from the Japanese. He said.”Yuki is still new, I don’t know him so well, but I think he is really talented. To develop the car as fast as we can and really push the performance of the whole team.”

Helmut Marko impressed by the young Japanese driver

The Red Bull advisor told RTL as quoted by PlanetF1. He said, “Our Yuki Tsunoda has delivered a sensational performance during testing. We expect AlphaTauri to be at the front of the midfield battle.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 26, 2021 AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Marko added, “Pierre Gasly was 11th in the test, 1.36s slower than Tsunoda.1:30.413, as he laid down the most laps of any driver, 237.

Can Tsunoda do an outstanding job in his rookie season in F1? Will he be able to beat Verstappen and his teammate Gasly as he takes to the grid in 2021? We will have to wait and see. What are your expectations from AlphaTauri’s number 22 driver in the new season? Let us know in the comments below.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

Yuki Tsunoda Reveals AlphaTauri Changed F1 Pedals Over Height Difference To Gasly

5 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Arpit Gomes

656 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

essentiallysports's Stories