Yuki Tsunoda has competed in just one Formula One Grand Prix so far, and already, spectators have marked his incredible talent on track.
The latest of a number of head honchos hailing the Japanese driver’s skill is Formula One’s motorsport managing director Ross Brawn.
During an interview with the Official F1 website, Brawn said Yuki Tsunoda is the best rookie in years after scoring the first points of his career on his debut in Bahrain last Sunday.
The former Ferrari technical director said he had been impressed by the 20-year-old AlphaTauri driver’s “brilliant spells” in the season-opener.
He said; “He is the best rookie F1 has had for years, having been fairly stunning in whatever series he has competed in.
“His promotion by Red Bull looks like a brilliant move. We can all remember the glorious days of full grandstands at Suzuka and the passion of the Japanese fans.
“I think we are going to have that again, which is incredibly exciting.”
Earlier in the week, the 20-year-old driver said he had learned a lot following his first race in Formula One, and admitted to losing a number of places at the beginning of the race after being “too cautious”.
Tsunoda began Sunday’s race in P13 but managed to finish in the points in P10 ahead of his French teammate Pierre Gasly, who finished out the first race in P17.
Speaking after his Formula One debut, Yuki Tsunoda said:
“I’m happy I managed to score points in my first Grand Prix – I think this race showed how great the performance of the car is.
“I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed still as I lost a few positions on the first lap – due to being too cautious – and had to work throughout the race to recover these. I’ve learned a lot here in Bahrain, which is really positive, and I will take this with me to Imola.”
After finishing ninth in Bahrain, Yuki is the only Japanese driver to finish in the points on his Formula 1 debut.
He joins an exclusive club of 64 others, including some who made their F1 debut with the AlphaTauri team: Sebastian Bourdais (2008,) Daniil Kvyat (2014), and Carlos Sainz (2015).
On race-day in Bahrain, he was 20 years, 10 months, and 17 days old, making him the youngest ever Japanese driver to take part in a Formula 1 race, as well as the youngest to score points.