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F1 hero reveals key factors PREVENTING drivers from gaining top drives

F1 hero reveals key factors PREVENTING drivers from gaining top drives

F1 hero reveals key factors PREVENTING drivers from gaining top drives

F1 hero reveals key factors PREVENTING drivers from gaining top drives

RB driver Yuki Tsunoda has opened up on the difficulties Japanese drivers face in making the breakthrough in Formula 1.

Tsunoda is now into his fourth F1 season and is yet to make a podium from his 70 races, but the 23-year-old remains a hero in Japan and won the nation's F4 title at 17.

None of the 21 Japanese drivers to have entered F1 have ever won a grand prix, although Tsunoda's compatriot Ayumu Iwasa has said we wants "to be a world champion."

READ MORE: Japanese GP results

Iwasa recently filled in for Daniel Ricciardo at the Japanese Grand Prix, clocking practice times for RB that were not far off Tsunoda's own. He later said he held back with his priority helping the team get data on the car.

Tsunoda - who finished 10th at Suzuka - was later asked why Japanese drivers have traditionally struggled in F1.

Iwasa wants to be a "world champion"
Sato (r.) is a former partner of Jenson Button (l.)

What did Tsunoda say?

"First of all, [we're] very far away from Europe," he told AP. "And I think mainly you want to race in Europe in junior categories to get a Super Licence. And to be close as much as possible to the Formula 1 teams, to get attention.

"You have to go to Europe to race and to compete against the European drivers, so that probably makes it a little bit difficult. And obviously, the language as well. Japanese don't speak as much good English.

"So it's hard to communicate well, and tell what you want specifically from the car - setup, for example. These things will take a little bit of time."

Aguri Suzuki, Takuma Sato and Kamui Kobayashi have secured a podium each among Japanese drivers. Sato was perhaps the most successful of them overall, winning the Indianapolis 500 twice.

READ MORE: Ricciardo 'LAST chance has gone' says F1 winner

Related

Formula 1 Daniel Ricciardo Yuki Tsunoda Suzuka Japan Ayumu Iwasa
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