TOKYO: Yuki Tsunoda has been pumping iron ahead of the new Formula One season even though the Japanese Alpha Tauri driver admitted on Wednesday (Mar 9) that he “hates” working out in the gym.
The 1.59m(5ft 3in) Tsunoda is preparing for his second Formula One campaign, telling reporters that he struggled to meet the physical demands of the sport last year.
The 21-year-old has been working overtime to bulk up over the off-season, paying special attention to his neck muscles to deal with the Formula One car’s power and downforce.
He said the extra physical effort has not been easy but he is determined to make it count when the new season begins at the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20.
“I hate training, but last season I felt that my weak point was my physical conditioning. It’s something that I need for racing, so even though I hate training, I need to do it,” he said.
“I want to make a good start to the 2022 season and I want to show everyone that I’ve improved since last year.”
Tsunoda said he has improved physically “by about 30 to 40 percent”, and he is keen to turn that into points when the season gets underway.
The Japanese driver finished 14th in his debut campaign last year, with a fourth-place finish at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix his best result.
He said his season had been “up and down”, with several crashes preventing him from building momentum.
He is looking to establish a rhythm when the new campaign begins but he is not about to let that blunt his aggressive driving style.
“You need to have confidence in this business,” he said.
“It’s dangerous to overestimate your ability but confidence is a vital tool. I want to have the confidence to handle any situation.”