Yuki Tsunoda is a Japanese racing driver who is currently racing for Scuderia AlphaTauri under Formula 1. He is notable for being the winner of the 2018 Japanese F4 Championship and a member of the Honda Formula Dream Project, supported and backed by Honda since 2016. He also received support and sponsorship from the Red Bull Junior Team in 2019.
Tsunoda is widely known as the Formula 1 Japanese hero. He is a talented and driven young man who has risen through the ranks of Formula 1 in a dash. His zeal and aggressiveness on the field were met with remarkable achievements. Tsunoda enjoyed an incredible ascent to Formula 1 after winning the Anthoine Hubert Award in the 2020 Formula 2 Championship. This achievement was backed by a couple of other achievements. Subsequently, he made his debut at the Formula 1 World Championship for AlphaTauri in 2021 at the Bahrain Grand Prix, becoming the youngest driver to be a part of the Formula 1 circuit.
Profile Summary of Yuki Tsunoda
- Full Name: Yuki Tsunoda
- Date of Birth: 11 May 2000
- Age: 22 years (as of 2022)
- Place of Birth: Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan
- Ethnicity: Japanese
- Nationality: Japan
- Zodiac Sign: Taurus
- Education: LCA International preschool & elementary school; Nihon University Third High School, and Suzuka Circuits Sports Facility
- Profession: Racing Driver
- Net Worth: $1-5million
- Height: 5 feet 2 inches
- Weight: 54 kg
- Team: Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda Formula 1 Team
- Car Number: 22
- Instagram: yukitsunoda0511
- Twitter: yukitsunoda07
Yuki Tsunoda is the Shortest Formula 1 Racing Driver
Japanese rising star, Yuki Tsunoda, is not only the youngest driver but also the shortest driver on the grid and most likely the most small-sized driver in the history of the sport. Tsunoda stands at 5 feet 2 inches (1.59 meters) tall. Formula 1 racing drivers are not the tallest sportsmen; the tallest among the drivers is Esteban Ocon who stands at 6 feet 1 inch (1.86 meters) while the shortest before Tsunoda came along was McLaren’s Lando Norris, who stands at 5 feet 6 inches (1.70m). Lando is swiftly followed by veteran Fernando Alonso, who is 5 feet 6 inches (1.71m).
A special made-to-measure pedal kit was specially designed by the team engineers to make Tsunoda feel more comfortable and adjust his weight and position in the cockpit of the AT02. In an interview, he stated that puts “a lot of foam inside the monocoque to make my seat position higher to see the view clearly.” He also made a special pedal case to reach the pedals.
When asked whether his small frame offers him an edge over the others, the Japanese rising star stated that his diminutive height and weight offer no “big advantage” in terms of aerodynamics or weight distribution.
Tsunoda’s Father was a Racer in His Day
Yuki Tsunoda was born on May 11, 2020, in Kanagawa prefecture city known as Sagamihara in Japan. His zodiac sign is Taurus. He was birthed from the beautiful union of his mother and father whose name is currently unknown. He was raised in Kanagawa Prefecture by his loving parents.
Tsunoda developed a passion for racing cars during his childhood days while in the company of his father who was a racing enthusiast and a race car mechanic. His father participated in the local racing series at Nakai inner circuit, Gymkhana, a two-wheel racing competition. Tsunoda’s interest in racing led him to karting at the age of four years. When karting, his father served as his mechanic and coach, mentoring him on different aspects of racing like braking. Unlike his father, he prefers four-wheel racing to two-wheels.
Yuki Tsunoda has a childhood friend named Marino Sato, who is also a racing professional. The Japanese rising star is also a lover of skiing, swimming, snowboarding, and road cycling. He currently lives in Switzerland.
He was a student at Nippon Sport Science University
The Japanese rising star attended LCA International preschool in March 2007. Afterward, he enrolled at LCA International Elementary School where he graduated in 2013. In April 2016, Yuki became a student at Nihon University Third High School but shortly after in April 2017 transferred to Wako High School.
In 2016, he graduated from Honda’s Suzuka Circuits Sports Facility in the advanced formula category. He then joined Nippon Sport Science University’s Faculty of Sport Management in April 2019. On the TOEIC Bridge test, he scored a total of 132 points.
Yuki Tsunoda’s Racing Career Before Formula One
Yuki Tsunoda began karting at the age of four years, however, he started his professional career in 2010 at the age of 10 years, joining the JAF Junior Karting Championship, moving to the regional class in 2013, and the national class in 2014.
Tsunoda’s rapid ascent to Formula One started back in 2016 when he was taken on by Honda Formula Dream Project. He made his single-seater debut in the F4 Japanese Championship with the Sutekina Racing Team for a one-off event in Suzuka. He won 10 races and claimed his first podium with 2nd in the first race and finished 4th in the second race. After the win, he proceeded to Europe and joined Red Bull’s Junior Program to drive in the new FIA F3 series (the feeder series that replaced the GP3 series) in 2019.
In the same year, the Japanese driver drove for Jenzer Motorsport in the F3 championship for the 2019 season, where he performed extraordinarily well with several podium finishes and took a EuroFormula Open race win in Hockenheim, Germany. Yuki Tsunoda’s impressive performance paved way for him within the Carlin F2 team for 2020, with him signing a deal with the British squad for the 2020 season. His debut season was fierce and fiery. The rising star finished third in the championship. The win earned him the Anthoine Hubert Award for best rookie.
Yuki Announced Himself in F1 with an Incredible Performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix
Yuki Tsunoda enjoyed an incredible rise from F4 to F1 in a short period. In August 2020, Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda Formula 1 announced that the Japanese had been selected to race for AlphaTauri alongside Pierre Gasly in the end-of-season rookie test at Abu Dhabi in December 2020. Yuki became Japan’s first Formula 1 driver since Kamui Kobayashi stepped out of the cockpit at the end of the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
He had his first drive in a 2018-spec AlphaTauri car around the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy to obtain a basic Super License. He again tested Formula One machinery at Imola in January 2021, but this time, he drove an AlphaTauri-liveried Toro Rosso STR14, Toro Rosso’s 2019 car.
At the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Yuki Tsunoda made an impressive performance finishing in ninth place. He emerged as the F1 best rookie after the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix. He replaced Daniil Kvyat, a Russian driver after which he partnered with Pierre Gasly for the 2021 season. Tsunoda recorded his best Formula One performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He started the race sixteenth, improved to seventh place at the finish line, and was promoted to sixth after Sebastian Vettel’s disqualification. Pierre and Tsunoda were retained by AlphaTauri for the 2022 season.
What is Yuki Tsunoda’s Net Worth?
The Japanese rising star’s salary at AlphaTauri is a fact yet to be disclosed to the public, but the man he replaced, Daniil Kvyat, was reportedly paid around $300k in his final season. Granted Tsunoda’s young age and experience, he probably earns less than this. Reports indicate that his net worth is around $1 million – $5 million given his remarkable career as a racing driver. Regardless, he will undoubtedly earn more in the future.