Yuki Tsunoda has impressed immensely in his debut season of Formula 2, challenging for the title in just his second season of racing in Europe.

The Carlin racer is one of a number of drivers bidding for an F1 seat in 2021, we get to know the Red Bull Junior a little better.

NAME: Yuki Tsunoda DATE OF BIRTH: 11/05/2000 NATIONALITY: Japanese

RACING STYLE

“I am confident on the brakes, I think you could see that from my first Formula 3 win in Monza last season. I think I’m good at gaining laptime in braking, I would say that’s my greatest quality as a driver. In terms of where I need to improve, I would say on out-and-out race pace and tyre management, which are the areas where I am focusing on.”

FIRST RACING MEMORY

“In Japan, there is a track near to the highway in the area where I live. My father took me there to try karting for the first time, I don’t remember it clearly, but my father told me that I would enjoy it.

“I started when I was four-years-old, and then raced when I was five-years-old. I was P1 all of the time from a young age, especially in Qualifying. I started in Kids karting, with a baby kart. The car is for kids who are only four or five-year-old, it is really small. Stepping up to the next size kart, which was a bit bigger, I kept getting quite good results.

“Although, I couldn’t reach the pedals when I was young, so I put two seats into the kart! A bigger seat and a smaller seat inside as well.”

BIGGEST RACING ACHIEVEMENT

“Last year’s Formula 3 win in Monza. It was my first win in Europe, in my first season in Europe. I was very happy to win Race 2, after I had taken P3 in the first race as well.”

RACING HERO

“That’s a tough one. At the moment, on the driving side I would say Max Verstappen - he is really fast. Lewis Hamilton as well, because is really good at interacting with his fans and he is trying to make a difference, such as, all of the work he is doing for Black Lives Matter. He is working really hard to make the world a better place. He’s obviously very fast as well! Ayrton Senna is another for me too.

“He is maybe not a hero, but the driver I most wanted to race against was Anthoine Hubert. I could see from Japan when I was driving in Formula 4, and he was driving in GP3, that his driving style was quite similar to mine, and he was really quick. When he stepped up to Formula 2, I didn’t expect him to win races in his first year, but he won two races in his first season, and it was with a team, who the year before, had struggled. So that was really impressive.”

FAVOURITE TRACK ON THE F2 CALENDAR

“Monaco, maybe. In terms of the 2020 calendar, I would say Spa-Francorchamps. Austria is up there as well, but Spa would be my favourite. It is high speed, really fast and also, most of the corners are fast corners and I enjoy fast corners. It is really good.”