Yuki Tsunoda stands out as the first Japanese racer to grace Formula One since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014. Young Yuki Tsunoda, right from the start, was earmarked as a prodigious talent in Formula One.
His early interest in motorsport, fueled by a fascination with the thrill of speed and advanced car technology, was undeniable. Though his parents harbored concerns about the inherent dangers of racing, preferring an academic focus for their son, Tsunoda’s passion for racing remained undeterred.
Young Yuki Tsunoda – Dominance in Karting
By age six, Young Yuki Tsunoda was already making waves in karting.
His innate talent was evident, clinching his first race win by seven and soon after, ruling the junior karting circuits in Japan.
Young Yuki Tsunoda – Molding at Honda Suzuki Racing School
2016 was a pivotal year for Tsunoda as he graduated from Honda’s revered Suzuka Circuit Racing School, mastering the advanced formula class.
This accomplishment ushered him into the Honda Formula Dream Project.
Young Yuki Tsunoda – Majesty in Japanese Formula 4
That very year, he debuted in the F4 Japanese Championship – a prestigious junior racing platform in Japan.
His inaugural race with the Sutekina Racing Team was nothing short of spectacular. He secured 2nd and 4th positions in consecutive races.
By 2017, with a full-fledged commitment to the F4 series – both the national and regional East series of the JAF F4 Japanese Championship, Tsunoda’s prowess shone through.
He clinched the regional title and made a commendable third-place finish nationally. His reign continued in 2018, with seven race victories guaranteeing him the championship title.
Tackling FIA Formula 3 and Euroformula Open
In 2018, he elevated his racing game to the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, a premier junior racing series in Asia. Despite its challenging nature, Tsunoda’s rookie season saw him on the podium twice, ending the year seventh in the championship standings.
2019 saw him race in the Euroformula Open Championship, a global stage for emerging racers.
Tsunoda’s dynamism led to three wins, six podium finishes, and two pole positions. He finished the season third, behind fellow racing prodigies Liam Lawson and Marino Sato.
Excelling in the FIA Formula 2 Championship
Come 2020, Honda announced Tsunoda’s entry into the FIA Formula 2 Championship with the Carlin team. His spellbinding performance included
- Three race win
- Seven podium finishes,
- Four pole positions.
Finishing third, behind Mick Schumacher and Callum Ilott, Tsunoda garnered enough points for a super license, paving his path to Formula One.
This stellar journey caught the attention of the elite Red Bull Racing team, which inducted Tsunoda into their junior racing program for the 2020 season.
From a dreamy-eyed child to a formidable force in motorsport, the tale of Young Yuki Tsunoda is a testament to perseverance, talent, and sheer willpower.