Yuki Tsunoda has impressed the Formula 1 paddock with his pace and calm demeanor. The Japanese sensation also caught the eye of the legendary Ross Brawn, who called Tsunoda one of the best rookies to reach Formula 1 in recent years.
Head of Red Bull's driver development program, Helmut Marko, said that Yuki Tsunoda is the next superstar of Formula 1.
According to Tsunoda's Japanese compatriot, Nobuharu Matsushita, the rookie's standout quality is his attitude. According to the 27-year-old, Tsunoda tries to learn from his mistakes, instead of adding pressure to his shoulders.
Speaking to Motorsport.com, Matsushita said:
“I think Tsunoda’s good point is he doesn’t care. If he makes a mistake, he just moves onto the next one. This is really important. Every time you make a mistake, most people think, ‘next time, I cannot make a mistake.' But he just says, ‘I made a mistake, I learned,' and moves on. That’s his big strength."
Yuki Tsunoda will have an amazing season: Matsushita
Matsushita feels that Tsunoda will be able to display the full range of his skills at the pinnacle of motorsport, and impress everyone. Speaking about the rookie's prospects for the 2021 season, Matsushita said:
"AlphaTauri is quite competitive, easily good enough for the top 10, so I think he’s going to have an amazing season. And I know how quick Gasly is, I raced with him [in 2015 and 2016] in GP2. Let’s see what Tsunoda can do against him. I’m really excited to see.”
Speaking about Tsunoda's rise to Formula 1, Matsushita explains it was remarkable to see the young driver impress and progress through each category:
“In 2019 he was doing F3 and that was the first time I met him,” said Matsushita. “We did a race together in Euroformula Open [at the Hungaroring]. That time he was not that competitive, did quite a lot of mistakes. But I think last year working with Carlin he improved a lot and he became much calmer."
Tsunoda's rookie season in Formula 2 impressed his bosses at Red Bull. The Japanese sensation had a sublime year and was the favorite to win the championship if not for consistent reliability issues hampering his progress. Ultimately, Tsunoda finished third in the standings in his debut season in the series. This convinced Helmut Marko of Tsunoda's place in Formula 1.
On his debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix, Tsunoda struggled in the qualifying session. However, he recovered brilliantly to finish the race in P9, beating his experienced teammate Pierre Gasly.