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Is Yuki Tsunoda the best rookie in the history of F1?

The Formula One technical director, Ross Brawn, has hailed Yuki Tsunoda as “the best rookie Formula One driver in years.” The Japanese driver finished his debut race in an impressive P9, at the inaugural Grand Prix of the 2021 season in Bahrain; achieving two points for the Italian team, AlphaTauri.

Ross Brawn

Written by Bruna Brito, Edited by Tanishka Vashee

Yuki was inspired by his father who was a mechanic, to get into the motorsport world. It was at the Nakai circuit when Yuki had his first go-karting experience. “In Japan, I had confidence in myself to perform and be competitive, but I’d never raced in Europe in my life before and had no experience.”

He has already had many great successes and out of these, Yuki picks the 2018 FIA-F4 Japanese Championship as his favourite. The Japanese driver continued polishing and refining his talent on the track, achieving an impressive 3rd position in the FIA Formula 2 Championship in 2020. Now, after his debut in Formula 1, media and viewers already spot the spirit of a future world champion in him.

Brawn wrote in his column after the race: “I am really impressed with Yuki Tsunoda. I met him on the weekend for the first time, he is an interesting character. He’s truly funny and his performance on track is quite good”.

“Considering it was his first race in Formula One, he has shown some brilliant moments, which is very encouraging. He’s the best rookie F1 may have had in years.”

He continued praising Red Bull’s move to promote the Japanese driver, “We can all remember the glorious days of full bleachers in Suzuka and the passion of Japanese drivers. I think we’re going to have that again; incredibly exciting”.

During last week’s race, the self-proclaimed “biggest fan of Alonso” made some impressive moves on a number of drivers, including his prior mentioned hero. His overtaking on Lance Stroll secured applause from his team principal Franz Tost. “He did a lot of good overtaking, I think it was the car that overtook, and his lap times were also very competitive, both with the medium tyre and the hard compound. He deserved 9th place and it was great to see how he fought Kimi, Lance, and others. I think we can already look forward to the next season with him.”

Franz Tost with Yuki Tsunoda

Will we see Tsunoda blossom into a wonderful talent? We’ll have to wait and see with the next opportunity coming in Imola in two weeks’ time.

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