Yuki Tsunoda is joining the Formula 1 season this season as the youngest driver on the grid. Interestingly, the Japanese driver is also one of the shortest Formula 1 drivers in the 71-year long history of the sport. However, Tsunoda does not shy away from joking about his short height.
The shortest Formula 1 driver last year was McLaren‘s Lando Norris at 1.7 meters. However, Tsunoda is set to steal that status from the Briton once he makes his debut with AlphaTauri. In Formula 2 last year, the young debutant was recorded to be just 1.59 meters tall.
After AlphaTauri’s car launch of 2021, the drivers had the chance to sit in their new livery. Formula 1 uploaded a picture of Tsunoda in his AlphaTauri and posed a question for the fans, “In 2021, @yukitsunoda07 will___”. Tsunoda was quick to reply with a hilarious one-word caption, “Grow”
The 20-year-old Japanese driver has had Honda’s backing since 2016. He made his single-seater debut in the F4 Japanese Championship, which he won in 2018. Tsunoda then moved to Europe and joined Red Bull‘s Junior program.
He quickly promoted his way up to Formula 2 and had a successful campaign with Carlin. “He ended the year with seven podiums, which included three victories, to finish third behind champion Mick Schumacher and Callum Illot, paving the way for him to step up to F1,” stated a report.
This season, Yuki Tsunoda is replacing Daniil Kvyat in the AlphaTauri. The Japanese driver is highly talented, however, the speed of his car will define his debut season. His first aim would be to battle his teammate Pierre Gasly and win it.
In a long term, Tsunoda will surely target that Red Bull seat that seems to be cursed. The seat alongside Max Verstappen will see its fourth driver in the last four years. If Sergio Perez fails to deliver to the Red Bull standard, Tsunoda could very well find him in the Red Bull seat.
Do you believe Tsunoda will impress Red Bull enough to warrant a promotion to the senior team, eventually?