Scuderia AlphaTauri has stirred controversy ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix by sharing a Manga-style artwork of their driver, Yuki Tsunoda image. The artwork was meant to celebrate Tsunoda’s home race in Suzuka, but it has drawn criticism due to its use of the Rising Sun Flag.
As teams prepare for the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at Suzuka, Yuki Tsunoda’s promising P5 finish in Free Practice 1 adds to the excitement. However, AlphaTauri’s decision to feature the Rising Sun Flag in their artwork has ignited a social media storm.
The Yuki Tsunoda Image with the Rising Sun Flag, although a part of Japanese history, carries historical baggage for many nations. Some accociate it with Japan’s actions during World War II. Many view it similarly to the Nazi Swastika symbol.
AlphaTauri posted the artwork without conducting sufficient background research, resulting in fans voicing their concerns on social media.
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Alpha Tauri Apologizes for the Yuki Tsunoda Image
Acknowledging the error and the backlash from fans, the team issued a formal apology on the same platform:
“We have noticed comments regarding our Yuki Tsunoda Image Japanese GP poster over the last few hours.
“The team designed this poster purely for its aesthetic appeal, with no intention to reference any political or historical events.
“We apologize for offending anyone by this unintended reference. We created the poster solely to celebrate the race week. It is one of the most iconic and beloved events on the F1 calendar.”
Some fans see the artwork as an innocent mistake, made while celebrating the sport and Suzuka’s iconic track. Sadly, others question why the post has not been removed in light of the apology.