Tsunoda hates everything about the gym

Jamie Woodhouse

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda walks with purpose through the paddock. Spain, February 2022.

Yuki Tsunoda is on a quest to reach the physical standard required for Formula 1, which requires many unwanted gym sessions.

Tsunoda arrived in Formula 1 for 2021 with a great deal of momentum having risen rapidly through the junior ranks, and after the pre-season test, expectations were high.

Unfortunately he was unable to deliver on said expectations, struggling for much of the campaign as he admitted that he was not at the physical standard required for Formula 1.

A mid-season move to Italy was designed to initiate a change of fortunes for Tsunoda and his strongest display by far would arrive at the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, where he qualified P8 and finished the race P4.

Tsunoda has maintained the focus of getting into better shape ahead of the 2022 campaign, joking that even AlphaTauri’s 66-year-old principal Tost was in “much better shape” than him initially.

But while the gym now plays a more prominent role in Tsunoda’s life, there is still nothing about it that he enjoys.

Yuki Tsunoda driving the AlphaTauri AT03. Spain, February 2022.
Yuki Tsunoda driving the AlphaTauri AT03 on day one of testing. Spain, February 2022.

“The day I have a gym session, when I wake up it feels like I’m just having a bad day,” he told The Race.

“I still don’t like gym sessions. I don’t like the smell of the gym, I don’t like everything. I don’t like the equipment, just everything.

“At the same time I know the gym helps a lot to increase my performance. Of course, I really don’t like it. But what I felt last year and experienced last year motivates me at least a little bit to train.”

It was not until 2019 that Tsunoda began racing in Europe, at which point he went from Formula 3, to Formula 2 and then to Formula 1 in consecutive years.

During those junior racing days the training which Tsunoda was doing proved sufficient, but upon joining the Formula 1 grid, he realised too late that this would no longer be the case.

Thanks to the busy 2021 calendar, it meant that once the season started, Tsunoda had missed his chance to majorly increase his training.

This time around though, he is making sure that he takes full advantage of the off-season, while he is expecting that the new generation of cars for 2022 may tire his body in different ways.

“As soon as the season starts, I couldn’t train much more, I couldn’t gain the physical performance because we are so time limited and as soon as one race finishes, the next race is going to start,” he explained.

“That’s why I’ve been preparing a lot compared to last year to avoid that situation.

“And also to prepare for the new cars and where I’m going to feel tired may be different compared to last year.”


The neck was a key area of struggle for Tsunoda in his rookie Formula 1 season, so now he has relinquished his rest day to boost his neck training time.

That being said, once again this is something which he hates.

“It’s the worst,” he said of the neck strengthening work.

“Okay, other work – arms, endurance, while you are doing training it feels bad but after the training you feel at least a little bit fresh.

“Neck training, nothing. It just hurts. It feels tight the whole day.”


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