Christian Horner reveals hilarious origin of foul-mouthed Yuki Tsunoda’s radio messages

Michelle Foster
AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda listening to instructions. Barcelona, Spain June 2023.

Yuki Tsunoda listening to instructions.

Yuki Tsunoda has a reputation for his sweary rants, and Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has explained in an amusing antidote where he picked it up.

Leaving the Japanese racing leagues and heading to Europe, Tsunoda’s first points of call for learning the English language where the members of the teams he raced for.

But apparently, he learned a lot more than ‘how are you’, and ‘would you like milk with your tea?’

Yuki Tsunoda’s colourful feedback

That came as a bit of a shock to Red Bull and AlphaTauri when the Japanese driver hopped into the cockpit of a two-year-old Toro Rosso for his first F1 test at Imola in November 2020.

Covering 352km, AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost said at the time that Tsunoda “gave valuable technical feedback regarding the behaviour of the car.”

But according to Horner, he gave them a bit more than that.

Speaking on the Eff Won with DRS podcast, the Red Bull boss revealed: “He came over to the UK to learn English and driving for an English team that was based on the outskirts of London and they are something like out of a movie from ‘Snatch or like a Guy Ritchie movie.

“So, you know, this little Japanese guy thought that motherf***er, or the word f***, was just part of the English language, part of the English vocabulary.

“So he gets in a Formula One car and his very first test and he’s going ‘I’ve got understeer you motherf***er’.

“And did he really say? You know, it was hilarious.” recommends

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Yuki Tsunoda explains why he swears so much

As for Tsunoda’s side of the story, the 23-year-old says just simply likes “bad words” having picked them up during his Carlin days.

He told the Beyond the Grid podcast in 2021: “I like bad words!

“So, I had a really good relationship with the Carlin mechanics also with the engineers, sometimes using bad words. And I learned from there and just I was using bad words for [the] job, you know, and also having fun and I think that’s suited well for that job.

“But yeah, as soon as I realised it when I came to Europe, I just started not really using the bad words because I was using too much bad words.”

But it is not the Japanese way of doing things.

“Japanese don’t swear much, I think most Japanese won’t swear much,” he said. “Yeah, they’re quite respectful. I think I’m ruining the Japanese image!

“So I’m breaking the Japanese way. So I’m not good at that. Same age as me, the same generation as me, they swear a lot or with friends but, with older people, they don’t swear much.”

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