Yuki Tsunoda will “definitely” become Japan’s first-ever Formula One World Champion, according to senior Red Bull advisor Dr Helmut Marko.
Tsunoda made his F1 debut last weekend in Bahrain – and the Japanese rookie impressed many in the paddock with his raw speed and aggressive yet precise overtakes.
Speaking this week, Dr Marko said he is confident that the youngster has a bright future in the pinnacle of motorsport.
“Soon he will be a new star [in] Formula 1. They all like him. He is a charming, 20-year-old Japanese guy with a sense of humour,” Dr Marko said.
Commenting on his small stature and low weight, Dr Marko said that “all designers love him” but there are some challenges when it comes to ensuring he is comfortable in the car.
“The pedals were the main thing, we had to bring the pedals forward. The simulator we still struggle to have the right seat for him.”
Asked by RaceFans if he believes Tsunoda will become Japan’s first F1 World Champion, Dr Marko replied: “Definitely.”
Following his F1 debut last weekend, Tsunoda said that he was only “50 percent happy” with his performance despite him scoring points.
“I was glad to get points but I lost quite a few positions on the first lap,” Tsunoda said in a post-race interview.
“That was my big mistake. I had to recover from there. I’m happy 50 percent. It was possible to go more forward for the positions.
“My first points feel okay but I think there is a lot of space to improve for the next race at Imola,” he added.