Yuki Tsunoda will be donning the Scuderia AlphaTauri overalls for the 2021 Formula 1 season. Driving alongside the Frenchman Pierre Gasly, he will be the youngest driver on the Formula 1 track in 2021.
However, his performance during the 2020 Formula 2 championship warrants his promotion to the pinnacle of motorsports as he finished the season in 3rd place, collecting 200 points along the way.
After completing 2 days of testing at Imola, preparing for pre-season testing, Tsunoda sat down to speak with AlphaTauri.
Working on improving his mentality
Tsunoda felt that he had a good pace at the start of the season and could keep up with opposition drivers. However, he felt he needed to be more consistent to gain more points. To deal with this, he enlisted the help of a professional.
“Then, from the mid-season on, I worked with a psychological trainer and we talked a lot about my racing – how I prepare for the race and my attitude during the race – as well as other factors. That resulted in my mentality improving a lot.”
Towards the end of the season, Tsunoda felt he made good progress; however, he feels he can do much better.
Tsunoda received the Anthoine Hubert Award for his performance in Formula 2. The Anthoine Hubert Award is given to the best rookie driver. He received the Pirelli Award too.
He will be the first Japanese driver since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014 to grace the F1 tracks.
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I think I improved a lot during Formula 2, Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda experienced a quick rise to the top, spending only one season at Formula 3 in 2019 and Formula 2 in 2020.
“Every year I improve a bit and I’ve managed to win in every category I have competed in. Those wins were not easy, and they built up my confidence.
“Even in Formula 3, I did not expect I would win, as this was my first time living in Europe and four of the tracks were completely new to me.”
Tsunoda felt he was relatively inexperienced in Europe. He decided to focus on adapting to the tracks and culture of the race. Winning at Monza came as a surprise to him and landed him a promotion to Formula 2.