Did Helmut Marko hurt you when he called you “little Japanese”?

(Motorsport-Total.com) – There are Formula 1 drivers whose aura can’t be ignored when they enter a room. Fernando Alonso is certainly one of them, as is Lewis Hamilton. Then the drivers of Formula 1 don’t stand out. One of them is Yuki Tsunoda. However – or somewhat: exactly due to this! – We thought it will be good to ask a 22-year-old single Japanese for an interview.

Yuki Tsunoda: “Little Japanese” has come a great distance in Formula 1


Helmut Marko typically says: “Yuki, our little Japanese.” The phrases of a Red Bull motorsport advisor with a smile on his face and kindness in his coronary heart can typically be taken as an insult in a politically right society in 2022. So, within the interview, we requested how Tsunoda (1.59 meters) sees it.

When we caught up with him on the sidelines of the Italian Grand Prix, he wasn’t one hundred pc certain if he would proceed to run for AlfaTauri in 2023. Marco didn’t conceal it behind closed doorways, but it surely was solely formally introduced on Thursday. Now it is clear: “Little Yuki” will be a part of the large circus for no less than one other yr.

On his Formula 1 debut in Bahrain in 2021, he made a memorable impression and completed ninth, instantly incomes championship factors. Formula 1 sporting director Ross Brawn praised him beforehand, describing him as “the very best rookie in years”. Marco was additionally enthusiastic and confirmed.

But then the 4 zeros adopted in a row, together with many remnants of AlphaTauri. Tsunoda was in a position to stabilize solely in 2022 – the hole with teammate Pierre Gasly additionally narrowed. Maybe as a result of his staff requested him to maneuver to Faenza greater than a yr in the past…

No morning run with French Toast

Question: “Yuki, the staff has requested you to maneuver to Faenza for extra bodily coaching and higher psychological care. I’ve at all times questioned what meaning in concrete phrases. Now go for a run with Franz Toast within the morning. and at dinner?”
Yuki Tsunoda: “No. Honestly, I by no means run into him. I’ve a psychologist now, however he lives in Austria. It’s not like I see him on a regular basis.”

“My life in Faenza is such that I practice rather a lot there. In reality, not a lot has modified in comparison with the yr when I moved to Italy. But now I dedicate extra time to bodily coaching.”

Question: “Have you spent extra time with Franz Tost since you moved to Faenza?”
Tsunoda: “Sometimes we’ve lunch collectively. But not daily. It’s good to speak to him at lunch or when we meet on the manufacturing unit. I typically go to speak to the engineers.”

This is what the Formula 1 manufacturing unit appears to be like like from the within!

Inside AlphaTauri: Haven’t You Seen Behind the Scenes of a Formula 1 Factory? Then be a part of us for a manufacturing unit tour with staff supervisor Franz Tost! More Formula 1 Videos

Question: “We had a manufacturing unit tour earlier than Imola for our YouTube channel. Franz Tost advised us that staff supervisor Graham Watson’s spouse gave you a language lesson.”
Tsunoda: “But not anymore. It was solely English, not Italian.”

Why is nice English so necessary for a racing driver?

Question: “I do not communicate Japanese. If I think about dwelling alone in an condominium in Tokyo, I’d be very bored there. How are you doing in Faenza as a Japanese? Have you met any associates?”
Tsunoda: “English courses helped. Especially with pronunciation.”

“Pronunciation is essential. First, as a result of there may be hardly ever a misunderstanding afterwards. Second, the voices on the pit radio should not clear. Pronunciation is extra necessary in order that the suggestions reaches the staff as clearly as potential. helped.”

“But as I mentioned earlier than, I haven’t got English classes now. To be trustworthy, I’m very pleased about it! I’m pleased that I’m growing properly as a driver. And as for English, it is worrying, I feel it is significantly better than final yr. It’s factor.”

Aren’t all of us completely different in overseas languages?

We briefly press the pause button on the interview. The picture of “Yuki, the little Japanese”, which we thought of earlier than this interview and targeted on the subject of language, may be associated to her enhancing however restricted data of English. It is regular to seem extra assured in your native language than in a overseas language.

I, the creator of those traces, nonetheless keep in mind my early days as a Formula 1 journalist, when I did not communicate English in addition to I do in the present day, and due to my restricted vocabulary, I typically unconsciously threw swear phrases round. “Happiness” and “shit” and no matter they’re called as a result of I do not know accurately classify their notion by others.

So one wonders whether or not a Japanese-speaking Yuki Tsunoda has a very completely different persona than an English- and even an Italian-speaking one, and whether or not this has one thing to don’t solely with Helmut Marko, but additionally with the best way he is perceived: by some means charming, Japanese in Italy – however he is in his mom tongue possibly not as a powerful persona.


Tsunoda: “I’ve just a few associates who actually really feel the identical approach. I’ve associates in Europe who assume my pronunciation is humorous when I communicate Japanese. We snort about it.”

“One downside was that I used so many swear phrases. But I’m getting used to it. I really feel that when I communicate English, my tone of voice is regularly changing into extra pure, like in Japanese. Because the extra I communicate, the extra assured I change into. Speak English.”

“I do not really feel like I’m a local speaker now. But I like talking English and I’m beginning to really feel like I can categorical myself higher when it comes to vocabulary. I’m pleased about that.”

Lunch with toast: that is how the “Tough Dog” eats!

In this interview, Scuderia AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost talks in regards to the soft-spoken present technology in Formula 1. More Formula 1 Videos

Question: “So, when you’re not on the manufacturing unit, you sit alone in your condominium in Faenza. Don’t you typically get bored when you do not have associates round? Or do you have too little free time for that? Does it occur typically?”
Tsunoda: “This is without doubt one of the the reason why I play a number of on-line video games. Online video games are necessary for me to alleviate stress.”

“Also, when I’m taking part in, I can discuss to my associates in Japan on the similar time. Unfortunately, I hardly ever meet my associates in Japan. Playing video games is an effective method to discuss to them no less than from time to time, even when it is simply on-line.”

“But now I’ve some good associates in Milan and Italy as properly. Some of them are from the staff. They typically invite me to their home for a barbecue.”

Question: “Do you grill your self?”
Tsunoda: “Yes! I’m very proud of my life in Faenza.”

Tsunoda and Helmut Marko: a particular relationship

Question: “Helmut Marko typically talks about “Yuki, our little Japanese” in interviews. Does it hassle you when you are perceived as ‘little Yuki’?”
Tsunoda: “I do not know. What I can say is that we’ve relationship. I see him not solely as my boss, however as a buddy and a mentor.”

“50 % of the time we speak about different issues off the observe, 50 % about racing. We get alongside properly. He’s taken care of me since I used to be driving junior formulation. That’s why I’m a Formula 1 driver in the present day. I’m with out him. Yes, we’ve relationship.”

Yuki Tsunoda, Helmut Marko

Father’s Friend: Yuki Tsunoda talks to Helmut Marko scaling

Question: “Helmut Marko has been recognized to typically name his drivers early within the morning. Have you ever had the identical?”
Tsunoda: “A couple of occasions! But not typically. Luckily. But I’m normally an early riser myself. Okay.”

Home Premiere: Waiting for Suzuka

2022 is a particular yr for Tsunoda. On October 9, he will make his debut on the Japanese Grand Prix, his residence Grand Prix, in entrance of household and associates who normally solely assist him on tv. Tsunoda has been driving Formula 1 since 2021, however there was no Grand Prix at Suzuka in 2020 and 2021 because of the corona pandemic.

Question: “It’s extra necessary to be a star in Japan than in Europe. I feel you can go unrecognized in Italy, but it surely’s completely different in Japan, is not it?”
Tsunoda: “Honestly, I feel I’m higher recognized in Italy than in Japan.”

“Formula 1 is a giant factor in Japan, that is true. But not as large as when Ayrton Senna was driving. There hasn’t been a Japanese Formula 1 driver for a very long time, not even a Japanese producer for a very long time. The curiosity has gone down. But I’ve seen a number of followers from Japan get all for Formula 1. I hope I can do one thing for you.”

“I’m not in Japan fairly often, so it is laborious to guage how common Formula 1 is there now. I’m in Japan three weeks a yr, and the final time I spent two of them in quarantine. I’m “on the market rather a lot.”

Waiting for items from Japanese followers

Question: “When was the final time you have been in Japan?”
Tsunoda: “In January. To go to my household and associates. But I’m trying ahead to Japan. I heard the tickets bought out early. It’s superb. I am unable to wait to experience in entrance of the Japanese followers!”

Question: “Suzuka is legendary for its followers who convey every kind of bizarre items for the drivers. Are you anticipating a number of teddy bears and marriage proposals?”
Tsunoda: “I’ve by no means had a teddy bear! That can be good.”

“Honestly, Japanese followers are very inventive followers. They make their very own helmets with DRS. They are actually followers of motorsports. I am unable to wait to see the inventive concepts of the followers. And the prizes! Those are the issues I’m trying ahead to probably the most.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.