People may not know much about Yuki Tsunoda given that he is just about to start his career in Formula 1 as the youngest driver on the grid.
However, just one glance at Tsunoda and you can’t help but notice that he is not the tallest man to grace the sport.
In a 71-year history of the sport, Tsunoda will rather become the shortest to ever compete as a driver.
Last season, the shortest driver on the circuit was Lando Norris. With Tsunoda measuring 1.59 metres tall, Norris will find himself in the unique position of not having to crank his neck up to have a post-race conversation with the Japanese driver.
What is heartwarming is the fact that Tsunoda embraces his physicality, or rather lack of it.
Following the launch of AlphaTauri’s 2021 challenger, Formula 1 uploaded a picture of Tsunoda with the car. They asked the question, “In 2021, @yukitsunoda07 will___”. Tsunoda was ambitious in his response. “Grow,” he replied.
While it’s great to see that the rookie has a sense of humour, there will be plenty of challenges that he will face this season.
Tsunoda has been involved with Honda for a long time. Their association stretches back to 2016. Back then, he made his single-seater debut in the F4 Japanese Championship. After winning this in 2018, his career has progressed rapidly.
First, he was scooped up by Red Bull and put into the team’s junior driver programme.
He then participated in Formula 2, where he made quite a name for himself. He finished his first year in F2 with seven podiums and three wins. Only Mick Schumacher and Callum Illot fared better through the season.
Tsunoda is undoubtedly talented. He also appears to have the right attitude, and if there anything that is certain about sportspersons from his part of the world, his work ethic is likely to give AlphaTauri little to complain about.
With AlphaTauri’s speed yet to be ascertained, perhaps a battle against teammate Pierre Gasly would be highest on Tsunoda’s agenda, given they will have similar cars and the same technology at their disposal.