Tsunoda 'definitely' a future F1 champion but Red Bull won't 'burn' him

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Red Bull "definitely" have a future Formula 1 champion in their ranks in Yuki Tsunoda, advisor Helmut Marko claims.

The AlphaTauri rookie impressed everyone during his debut race weekend in Bahrain, recovering from a tricky qualifying and a poor start to finish ninth.

Tsunoda's aggression and attitude have also already earned him plenty of new fans too, and Marko believes success will follow in the years to come.

“Definitely. He’s smart and for 20 years [old], very mature," he told RaceFans of his championship potential.

“Soon he will be a new star [in] Formula 1. They all like him. He is a charming Japanese guy with a sense of humour.”

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Of course, the best route to the top is by joining the senior Red Bull team, and with Sergio Perez only signed for one year, could Tsunoda be fast-tracked alongside Max Verstappen for 2022?

"We’ve had the first of 23 races, so let's see how things develop," Marko told Formel1.de.

“We have an incredible rough diamond in Yuki. We're not going to burn him. We will look at the development and then make our decisions in a timely manner.”

The most notable feature of Tsunoda is his stature, standing at just 5 feet 2 inches (159cm) and weighing 61kg, making him the smallest and lightest on the grid.

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However, while Marko claims "designers love him", Yuki himself doesn't see a massive advantage.

"I don’t see it as a big [advantage] in Formula 1 because the FIA decided where you have to have the weight distribution, and you can’t choose the place you want to put it," he explained.

"So it meant for weight distribution there’s a tiny bit of an advantage but not much.

"And for aerodynamics, for me, I don’t see much [of a] big difference because in Formula 1 especially now, they [the cars] are made for bigger drivers."

That was proven by the fact AlphaTauri has actually had to adapt their new car for the Japanese driver.

“The pedals was the main thing, we had to bring the pedals forward," Marko revealed. "The simulator, we still struggle to have the right seat for him.”