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Yuki Tsunoda
22
Japan

Yuki Tsunoda

Date of birth
2000-05-11
Age
23
Nationality
Japan
Country
Japan
Date of birth
2000-05-11

Yuki Tsunoda Biography

Born: 11/05/2000 Sagamihara, Japan 

The latest in a long line of Japanese drivers to reach F1, Yuki Tsunoda earned a stay of execution with AlphaTauri for a third season in 2023. 

Climbing the junior ranks championed by the combined support of both Honda’s Dream Project young driver programme and Red Bull, Tsunoda’s F1 opportunity came after just two seasons competing outside of his native Japan.  

Making his European debut in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, it was Tsunoda’s triple race-winning turn in the FIA Formula 2 Championship the following season that smoothed his path towards obtaining a superlicence and with it a fast-tracked move onto the grid. 

Tsunoda was groomed into an AlphaTauri seat for the 2021 F1 season, landing his career best finish at the tail end of his rookie campaign with his fourth place in Abu Dhabi. 

2023 - AlphaTauri  

14th – 17 points  

Yuki Tsunoda started the 2023 season with new team-mate Nyck de Vries after the team lost Pierre Gasly to Alpine. The Japanese driver had three team-mates over the course of the season after Nyck de Vries was axed from AlphaTauri. He was then joined by Red Bull third driver Daniel Ricciardo and briefly Liam Lawson after Ricciardo broke his hand during a practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix. 

Tsunoda’s best finish of 2023 was P8 at the United States Grand Prix and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Tsunoda led five laps of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and despite not knowing he was in the lead was the first Japanese driver to lead a Grand Prix since Takuma Sato at the 2004 European GP.

2022 - Scuderia AlphaTauri 

17th - 12 points  

Tsunoda’s second season in F1 with AlphaTauri began with high expectations of building on the solid platform of his rookie campaign, but he struggled to sparkle in the ‘porpoising’ AT03. 

A bright start to the year saw Tsunoda crack the top ten in three of the opening six races, but thereafter trips to the points became scarce, his fourth and final representative effort of the year coming with a tenth-place finish in the United States GP. 

Instead, clumsy errors conspired to blot Tsunoda’s copybook on frequent occasions, which included a crash during qualifying at Monaco, sliding into the wall as he exited the pitlane in Canada and spinning into team-mate Pierre Gasly during the British Grand Prix. 

Despite the mistakes and a noticeable performance deficit to his team-mate, not to mention the soft departure of primary advocate in Honda, the exit of Gasly convinced AlphaTauri to favour continuity by retaining Tsunoda alongside new team-mate Nyck de Vries. 

2021 - Scuderia AlphaTauri 

14th - 32 points  

The first Japanese driver to start in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014, despite his relative inexperience on the international stage, Tsunoda wasn’t overawed by the occasion of his inaugural event in Bahrain, scoring on his debut with a ninth-place finish. 

Buoyed by having a competitive AlphaTauri-Honda package beneath him, Tsunoda proved a closer match for highly-rated team-mate Pierre Gasly than anticipated and reached the summer hiatus with five top ten results to his name, among them a run to sixth in Hungary. 

While points were harder to come by during the second-half of the year, Tsunoda ended his rookie campaign on a high with an impressive – if overshadowed – run to fourth in the controversial Abu Dhabi finale. 

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Motorsport prime

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