The Japanese, from Sagamihara, Japan, just finished his rookie year at F2 where he drove for Carlin, and already finished 3rd in the championship. For 2021, he will partner Pierre Gasly. Tsunoda will be the first Japanese driver on the grid since 2014, after Kamui Kobayashi left F1.
Speaking about his past, he said in a Red Bull interview: "My dad was doing the Gymkhana (car) competition, just racing against the clock. He knows about racing and loves it. When I was a 4 years old, I went to Nakai circuit with my family and we watched from the highway. At that circuit I tried karting for the first time.”
Tsunoda has been a member of the Red Bull academy for quite a while, as well as the Honda Formula Dream Project. It has been insisted that the exit of Honda from F1 won’t have any impact on the career of the young driver. In the past months Tsunoda shown his talent to the world. Already in his first rookie season in F2 he finished 3rd, only 15 points beyond the champion Mick Schumacher, who will be joining Haas next year.
Franz Tost, the principal of Scuderia Alpha Tauri said: “Red Bull has been following Yuki’s career for a while now and I am sure he will be a great asset to our team. Watching him in Formula 2 this year, he has demonstrated the right mix of racing aggression and good technical understanding.”
Bringing Tsunoda to the F1 grid with the “junior” Red Bull team means Daniil Kvyat is out of seat for 2021 - he has been the driver who drove the longest for Alpha Tauri, after he made his debut with them in 2014 (as Scuderia Toro Rosso). It might also mean that the Abu Dhabi GP of 2020 was probably the last time we’ve seen the Russian on the grid.