Yuki Tsunoda’s helmet design for 2020 will pay tribute to his path to Formula 1 and an appeal for divine intervention. When Tsunoda climbs into the cockpit of his AlphaTauri Formula 1 car in 2021, he will do so with a new helmet design that includes an image of the God of Wind.
In an interview with Formula1.com, Tsunoda explained some of the decisions that went into the design of his 2021 helmet.
As part of the Red Bull development program, Tsunoda joins AlphaTauri next year as a replacement for Daniil Kvyat. Tsunoda will be the first Japanese driver in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi ended his 75-race career with Caterham in 2014.
Tsunoda’s helmet will feature elements of his native Japan in addition to a tribute to Red Bull.
“You have obviously got the Red Bull branding and the Japanese flag on there, which were important for me,” Tsunoda said. “It was important for me to show that I am not just racing for myself, but that I am racing for Japanese fans.
“That is why the flag was so important. With that on there, it feels like we are racing together and it makes me feel confident. I tried to add patterns into the flag, and a shadow as well, so that it was a little different.”
Tsunoda earned his ride in part by finishing third in the 2020 Formula 2 series while racing for Team Carlin. He was only one point behind Callum Ilott. Mick Schumacher wrapped up the championship by 15 points over Tsunoda.
Tsunoda won the Sprint race at Silverstone in August as well as the Feature at Spa-Francorchamps and in the season-ending race at Bahrain.
The freshman F1 driver hopes that the best decision regarding the helmet design will come from divine intervention. The back of his helmet will sport an illustration of the God of Wind.
“There is an image on the back of the helmet, which was done by a Japanese designer,” he said. “That is the God of Wind, which I thought was good to add to the back, because downforce is very important and that relates to wind. I thought that it would be cool to add the God of Wind to the helmet so that I get more downforce! It is mostly about having a little bit more luck.”