Japanese Formula 1 drivers aim to succeed but encounter challenges due to language and geographical obstacles

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Yuki Tsunoda (Credits: Motorsport.com)

Nearly 50 years have passed, and around twenty Japanese drivers have tried their luck in Formula 1, but their achievements have been few. None of them have managed to win a race in F1 yet, setting the bar extremely high for 22-year-old Ayumu Iwasa.

“I dream of being a regular F1 driver and winning the world championship,” said Iwasa, expressing his ambitious goals. “But it’s not an easy journey.”

Iwasa got the opportunity to showcase his skills in front of his home fans in Japan, partly due to his nationality, talent, and connection with Honda, which powers the RB team and operates the Suzuka circuit. He filled in for Daniel Ricciardo during a practice session, while Max Verstappen was expected to lead Red Bull in the upcoming race.

Ayumu Iwasa (Credits: SportsBible)

Despite limited available seats in F1, Iwasa’s performance was commendable. His practice times were not far off from RB’s regular Japanese driver, Yuki Tsunoda. Iwasa mentioned that he restrained himself a bit during the session, focusing on providing valuable data to the team.

Transitioning from lower racing categories to F1, Iwasa emphasized the remarkable difference in the capacity and limits of an F1 car, expressing his awe and excitement.

While some Japanese drivers like Takuma Sato found success in other racing events like the Indianapolis 500, Tsunoda highlighted the challenges faced by Japanese drivers aiming for F1 success.

He mentioned geographical distance, the need to compete in Europe for junior categories and Super Licenses, and linguistic and cultural barriers as significant hurdles. Both Iwasa and Tsunoda, proficient in English, acknowledged the importance of overcoming these obstacles to compete at the highest level.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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