Yuki Tsunoda Parents: All About Minako and Nobuaki Tsunoda

Tsunoda’s rise to Formula 1 wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering support of his parents.

Yuki Tsunoda
Racing driver Yuki Tsunoda PHOTO/F1

Yuki Tsunoda is a young and exciting driver who has quickly risen through the ranks of motorsport to reach the pinnacle of Formula One racing. Born in Japan in 2000, he began his career competing in go-karts. He quickly impressed with his talent and was picked up by Honda’s Formula Dream Project in 2016. 

This program supports promising young Japanese drivers, and it helped Tsunoda progress to the Japanese F4 championship. There, he dominated in 2018, winning the championship title. Tsunoda’s success caught the attention of Red Bull, another major force in motorsport, who began supporting him in 2019.

He made the jump to European racing that year, competing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship. While his first season was a learning experience, he truly came into his own in 2020 in Formula 2, the feeder series to Formula One. Tsunoda showcased his impressive speed and racecraft, scoring three wins and finishing the championship in third place.

This strong performance earned him a coveted spot on the Formula One grid for the 2021 season with Scuderia AlphaTauri, the sister team to Red Bull. Tsunoda’s debut season in Formula One was impressive, particularly considering his relative inexperience.

Tsunoda quickly adapted to the challenges of F1 and proved to be a competitive teammate to the more established Pierre Gasly. He even scored points on his debut race, a remarkable feat for a rookie. Now racing for the rebranded RB Formula One Team in 2024, Tsunoda is a driver to watch for the future. With his raw talent and the backing of Red Bull, he has the potential to become a major star in Formula One.


Tsunoda’s rise to Formula 1 wouldn’t have been possible without the unwavering support of his parents. His father, Nobuaki Tsunoda, played a particularly crucial role. A businessman himself, Nobuaki fostered Yuki’s passion for racing from a young age. Having been a gymkhana racer in the past, Nobuaki recognized his son’s interest in cars and took him to a local track where Yuki got his first taste of karting.

Nobuaki then went on to become Yuki’s mechanic and advisor during the early years of his racing career, attending every race and offering guidance as Yuki climbed the ranks. While Nobuaki provided the technical expertise and constant presence, Yuki’s mother, Minako, offered a different kind of support. A housewife, Minako ensured a stable and loving home environment that allowed Yuki to fully focus on his racing dreams.

Her unwavering belief in her son undoubtedly played a significant part in his determination to succeed. Together, Nobuaki and Minako created a strong support system that has been instrumental in Yuki’s journey to becoming a Formula 1 driver.

Karting career

Tsunoda’s racing journey began on the go-kart track. He wasn’t even a teenager yet, starting out in the JAF Junior Karting Championship in 2010 at the young age of four. It wasn’t just a casual hobby either. Tsunoda steadily rose through the ranks of Japanese karting, competing in the regional class in 2013 and then the national class in 2014. These weren’t just participation trophies; Tsunoda was racking up wins and gaining recognition within the competitive karting scene in Japan. His success on the karting circuit paved the way for his transition to single-seater formula racing in 2016.

Also Read: Fernando Alonso Parents: Getting to Know José Luis Alonso and Ana Díaz

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda with his dad PHOTO/Reddit

It wasn’t an immediate jump to the top tiers though. Tsunoda began with a one-off appearance in the F4 Japanese Championship, showcasing his talent with a podium finish on debut. This was just a taste of things to come. He honed his skills further in the following years, eventually clinching the coveted championship title in 2018. This dominant performance, where he secured seven race wins, caught the eye of the Honda Formula Dream Project and the Red Bull Junior Team, setting the stage for his meteoric rise to Formula One.

Formula One career

Tsunoda’s journey to Formula One was a whirlwind. Backed by Honda’s young driver program since 2016, he started out in Japanese F4, conquering the series in 2018. His success there caught the eye of Red Bull, who added him to their junior program in 2019. Although his initial foray into Formula 3 wasn’t smooth sailing, a standout performance in Formula 2 the following year, where he clinched third place with three victories, propelled him onto the biggest stage in motorsport.

Tsunoda’s debut season in Formula One, in 2021 with AlphaTauri (now known as RB), was a rollercoaster. He impressed on his very first race, scoring points with a ninth-place finish in Bahrain. However, there were challenges along the way. A crash in qualifying at Imola followed by a string of tough weekends tested his confidence. Yet, he persevered, and his determination was rewarded with a strong showing in the latter half of the season, culminating in a career-best fourth place at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This secured him a spot on the team for the following seasons, solidifying his place in Formula One.

Racing record

Tsunoda’s racing journey has been one of rapid ascent. He began competing in go-karts in 2010 and quickly progressed through the ranks, reaching the national class of the JAF Junior Karting Championship by 2014. In 2016, he made a splash in Japanese Formula 4, scoring a podium finish in his very first race. This caught the attention of the Honda Formula Dream Project, a prestigious driver development program, which supported him from that point forward.

Tsunoda’s dominance in Japanese F4 became undeniable in 2018. He claimed seven victories that season, clinching the championship title ahead of his closest competitor. This success earned him backing from Red Bull in addition to Honda’s support. He then took his talents to Europe in 2019, tackling both the Euro Formula 3 and Euroformula Open championships.

While his initial foray wasn’t smooth sailing, he managed to secure two race wins and several podium finishes across both series. The following year, Tsunoda stepped up to Formula 2 with Carlin. This proved to be a breakout season for him. He showcased his raw speed and racing craft, notching up three impressive victories, seven podium finishes, and even grabbing four pole positions.

This strong performance placed him third overall in the championship standings for his debut year in F2. Tsunoda’s exceptional performance in Formula 2 earned him a coveted seat in Formula One with AlphaTauri (now known as RB) in 2021. While he’s yet to clinch a win in F1, he continues to develop his skills and experience on the sport’s biggest stage. His overall racing record boasts 16 wins, 38 podium finishes, and 14 pole positions across various categories. With his undeniable talent and continued dedication, it will be interesting to see how his Formula One career unfolds in the years to come.

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