Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda is a Japanese racing driver who currently drives for the Visa CashApp RB team with Daniel Ricciardo. He is the 2018 Japanese F4 Champion and is a member of the Honda Formula Dream Project.

Tsunoda was born on 11 May 2000 in Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan. He grew up watching his father compete in the local racing series in Japan at the Nakai Inner Circuit. 

Yuki Tsunoda’s Career Before Formula 1

Yuki Tsunoda


Tsunoda started his racing career by karting at a young age of four years. Launching his professional karting career in 2010, Tsunoda competed in the JAF Junior Karting Championship. He then competed in the regional class in 2013 and moved to the national class in 2014.

Japanese Formula 4 (2016-2018)

Tsunoda completed his tenure in advanced Formula class in Honda’s Suzuka Racing School in 2016. He then became a member of the Honda Formula Dream Project. Tsunoda made his racing car debut with the Sulekina Racing Team the same year when he raced in the one-off event in Suzuka in the F4 Japanese Championship. He finished 2nd in the first race, earning his first podium, and finished 4th in the second race.

Tsunoda competed in a full season of single-seater car racing in 2017. He participated in the F4 Japanese Championship as well as in the regional East Series of the JAF F4 Japanese Championship. Contesting in both the championships driving for Honda, Tsunoda finished 4th in the F4 national Championship. But he won the East Series JAF F4 Japanese Championship.

In 2018, Tsunoda again competed in the F4 Japanese Championship driving for Honda, this time winning the championship by taking 7 races.

FIA Formula 3, Euroformula Open (2019)

When Honda tied up with Red Bull in Formula One, Tsunoda was transferred to drive for Red Bull along with the Honda programme. Red Bull Honda announced towards the end of 2018 that Tsunoda will race with Jenzer Motorsport in the newly announced FIA Formula 3 Championship.

In 2019, the FIA Formula 3 Championship was formed by merging the GP3 Series and the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. Tsunoda finished 9th in the championship, winning once and earning three podium places. By the end of the season, Tsunoda had scored all of Jenzer Motorsport’s points.

Following the cancellation of the Formula European Masters Championship in 2019, Tsunoda also competed in the Euroformula Open championship. Driving for Motorpark, Tsunoda finished the first race at Circuit Paul Ricard in the second place. He won his maiden championship win at the second race at Hockenheim. Tsunoda finished third in the Pau Grand Prix.

FIA Formula 2 Championship (2020)

Honda announced at the beginning of 2020 that Tsunoda will drive for United Kingdom-based Carlin Motor Sport. With Carlin, Tsunoda contested in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. He finished third in the championship’s 2020 season. Tsunoda ended up taking 3 wins, 7 podium positions and 4 pole positions.

Formula One

In August 2020, Franz Tost, the principal of the Scuderia Alpha Tauri Honda Formula One team announced that they had signed on Tsunoda. Tsunoda drove at an end of the season driving at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend in December 2020. 

Tsunoda first test drove a 2018 Torro Rosso FTR13 car at the Autodrome Internazionale Enzo de Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy. In December it was announced that Tsunoda will partner Pierre Gasly and replace Daniil Kvyat for the 2021 Formula One season.

AlphaTauri (2021-2023)


Yuki Tsunoda’s rookie season in Formula 1 in 2021 with Scuderia AlphaTauri was a year filled with learning experiences, flashes of brilliance, and the inevitable growing pains that come with adapting to the pinnacle of motorsport. As the first Japanese driver in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014, Tsunoda brought excitement and a fresh perspective to the grid, backed by the support of Honda and the Red Bull Junior Team.

Season Overview

Tsunoda’s debut season was characterized by a mix of impressive performances and rookie errors, a common trajectory for young drivers stepping into Formula 1. His aggressive driving style and quick adaptation to new circuits earned him praise, while also highlighting areas for development.

Key Highlights and Results

  • Bahrain Grand Prix: Tsunoda made an immediate impact in his first Formula 1 race, scoring points with a ninth-place finish. His overtakes and pace showcased his potential and set high expectations for his rookie season.
  • Imola Grand Prix: Despite showing strong pace during the weekend, Tsunoda experienced one of the many challenges of his rookie season with a crash in qualifying, demonstrating the fine line between aggression and control in Formula 1.
  • Azerbaijan Grand Prix: In Baku, Tsunoda capitalized on a chaotic race to finish seventh, tying his best result of the season. His performance in the challenging street circuit environment highlighted his adaptability and racecraft.
  • Hungarian Grand Prix: Tsunoda scored points again in Hungary, navigating a hectic race that saw multiple collisions and strategy gambles. His ability to stay out of trouble and bring the car home in the points was a testament to his growing maturity.


Tsunoda’s 2021 season was not without its challenges. The young driver faced difficulties with consistency, particularly in qualifying, and adapting to the demands of a full Formula 1 race weekend. Additionally, Tsunoda’s self-admitted struggles with managing his emotions and expectations sometimes impacted his performance, leading to on-track mistakes and learning opportunities.

Season Conclusion

Yuki Tsunoda’s rookie season in Formula 1 was a journey of growth and self-discovery. Finishing 14th in the drivers’ standings, Tsunoda demonstrated enough potential to warrant a second season with AlphaTauri, where he would look to build on his experiences and continue his development as a Formula 1 driver.

Tsunoda’s 2021 campaign highlighted his raw speed, natural talent, and areas for improvement. With the support of AlphaTauri and the Red Bull Junior Team, Tsunoda’s focus on refining his skills, managing race weekends more effectively, and harnessing his aggressive driving style promised an exciting future for the young driver in the sport.


Yuki Tsunoda’s 2022 Formula 1 season with Scuderia AlphaTauri represented a year of consolidation and growth for the Japanese driver. Building on his rookie campaign, Tsunoda aimed to refine his skills, minimize errors, and contribute more consistently to the team’s efforts in the fiercely competitive midfield.

Season Overview

The 2022 season introduced significant technical changes to Formula 1, with new regulations designed to promote closer racing and more overtaking opportunities. For Tsunoda, this presented both a challenge and an opportunity to adapt to the new generation of F1 cars and further establish himself within the sport.

Key Highlights and Results

  • Increased Consistency: Tsunoda demonstrated improved consistency throughout the season, reducing the number of on-track incidents and rookie mistakes compared to his debut year. This growth was a positive sign of his development as a Formula 1 driver.
  • Points Finishes: Tsunoda secured several points finishes over the course of the season, contributing valuable points to AlphaTauri’s tally in the Constructors’ Championship. His ability to capitalize on the opportunities presented during races, particularly in chaotic or variable conditions, highlighted his racecraft.
  • Qualifying Performance: While still facing challenges in matching the pace of the front-runners in qualifying, Tsunoda made strides in closing the gap to his more experienced teammate, Pierre Gasly. His qualifying performances often placed him in a competitive position to fight for points on Sundays.
  • Developmental Role: Tsunoda’s feedback and collaboration with the AlphaTauri engineering team were crucial in the ongoing development of the AT03. His input helped guide the team’s efforts to improve the car’s performance throughout the season.


  • Adapting to New Regulations: Like many drivers, Tsunoda faced the challenge of adapting to the 2022 car’s handling and performance characteristics, influenced by the sweeping technical regulation changes.
  • Midfield Competition: The intense competition in the midfield meant that small margins often determined the difference between scoring points and finishing outside the top ten. Tsunoda worked to maximize his performances in this tight contest.

Season Conclusion

Yuki Tsunoda’s 2022 season was marked by visible progress in his driving, decision-making, and overall contribution to Scuderia AlphaTauri. While not without its challenges, the year underscored Tsunoda’s potential and commitment to his Formula 1 career. Finishing the season with a solid haul of points and improved performances, Tsunoda laid a foundation for further growth and success in the sport.

Looking ahead, Tsunoda’s experiences from 2022, combined with his natural speed and increasing familiarity with the demands of Formula 1, position him as a driver to watch in the future. With continued development and adaptation, Tsunoda aims to move further up the grid and achieve more consistent results in the coming seasons.


Yuki Tsunoda’s 2023 Formula 1 season with Scuderia AlphaTauri, alongside new teammate Nyck de Vries, showcased a year of development, challenges, and moments of competitive performance. As Pierre Gasly departed for Alpine, Tsunoda stepped into a more prominent role within the team, aiming to build on his experiences from the previous seasons.

Season Overview

Tsunoda’s season was marked by a mix of solid drives and missed opportunities. Starting with an 11th place finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Tsunoda showed potential but also faced the difficulties of pushing into the points-scoring positions. Throughout the season, he demonstrated flashes of speed and tactical acumen, particularly in races where strategy and weather conditions played significant roles.

Key Highlights and Results

  • Bahrain Grand Prix: Tsunoda had a challenging start but managed to finish just outside the points, indicating the competitive potential of the AlphaTauri package and his capabilities as a driver.
  • Saudi Arabian Grand Prix: A well-timed pit stop under the safety car allowed Tsunoda to gain positions, although he eventually finished 11th after being overtaken in the closing stages of the race.
  • Australian Grand Prix: After running as high as fifth, Tsunoda’s race was impacted by a red flag, and subsequent order reset, ultimately finishing 10th due to a penalty to another driver, earning his first point of the season.
  • Azerbaijan Grand Prix: Tsunoda reached Q3 for the first time in 2023 but faced disappointment in the sprint, retiring after contact with his teammate. He bounced back in the main race to score another point.
  • Mid-Season Challenges: Tsunoda experienced a series of races without points finishes, highlighting the competitive challenges faced by AlphaTauri in the midfield battle.
  • Belgian Grand Prix: A return to the points with a 10th place finish demonstrated Tsunoda’s resilience and ability to capitalize on race developments.
  • United States Grand Prix: Benefiting from late-race developments and disqualifications of other drivers, Tsunoda scored points and secured his first fastest lap in Formula 1.
  • Season Conclusion: Tsunoda finished the season 14th in the driver standings, with a total of 17 points. His performances, particularly in the latter half of the season, underscored his growth as a driver and his potential for future success in Formula 1.


Tsunoda faced various challenges throughout the season, including adapting to the evolving performance of the AlphaTauri car, navigating on-track incidents, and maximizing opportunities in a highly competitive midfield. His development as a driver was evident, as he worked to overcome these hurdles and contribute to the team’s efforts.

Looking Ahead

Yuki Tsunoda’s 2023 season was a valuable learning experience, with important lessons for both the driver and AlphaTauri. As Tsunoda continues to refine his skills and adapt to the demands of Formula 1, his potential for further progress remains high. With continued development and a focus on consistency, Tsunoda aims to achieve greater success and more consistent points finishes in future seasons.