Yuki Tsunoda’s helmet design features ‘God of Wind’

Tsunoda helmet design
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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.”

Winner Josef Newgarden earns $3.666 million from a record Indy 500 purse of $17 million


INDIANAPOLIS — The first Indy 500 victory for Josef Newgarden also was the richest in race history from a record 2023 purse of just more than $17 million.

The two-time NTT IndyCar Series champion, who continued his celebration Monday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earned $3.666 million for winning the 107th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.

The purse and winner’s share both are the largest in the history of the Indianapolis 500.

It’s the second consecutive year that the Indy 500 purse set a record after the 2022 Indy 500 became the first to crack the $16 million mark (nearly doubling the 2021 purse that offered a purse of $8,854,565 after a crowd limited to 135,000 because of the COVID-19 pandemic).

The average payout for IndyCar drivers was $500,600 (exceeding last year’s average of $485,000).

Indianapolis Motor Speedway owner Roger Penske, whose team also fields Newgarden’s No. 2 Dallara-Chevrolet, had made raising purses a priority since buying the track in 2020. But Penske but was unable to post big money purses until the race returned to full capacity grandstands last year.

The largest Indy 500 purse before this year was $14.4 million for the 2008 Indy 500 won by Scott Dixon (whose share was $2,988,065). Ericsson’s haul made him the second Indy 500 winner to top $3 million (2009 winner Helio Castroneves won $3,048,005.

Runner-up Marcus Ericsson won $1.043 million after falling short by 0.0974 seconds in the fourth-closest finish in Indy 500 history.

The 107th Indy 500 drew a crowd of at least 330,000 that was the largest since the sellout for the 100th running in 2016, and the second-largest in more than two decades, according to track officials.

“This is the greatest race in the world, and it was an especially monumental Month of May featuring packed grandstands and intense on-track action,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said in a release. “Now, we have the best end card possible for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500: a record-breaking purse for the history books.”

Benjamin Pedersen was named the Indy 500 rookie of the year, earning a $50,000 bonus.

The race’s purse is determined through contingency and special awards from IMS and IndyCar. The awards were presented Monday night in the annual Indy 500 Victory Celebration at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis.

The payouts for the 107th Indy 500:

1. Josef Newgarden, $3,666,000
2. Marcus Ericsson, $1,043,000
3. Santino Ferrucci, $481,800
4. Alex Palou, $801,500
5. Alexander Rossi, $574,000
6. Scott Dixon, $582,000
7. Takuma Sato, $217,300
8. Conor Daly, $512,000
9. Colton Herta, $506,500
10. Rinus VeeKay, $556,500
11. Ryan Hunter‐Reay, $145,500
12. Callum Ilott, $495,500
13. Devlin DeFrancesco, $482,000
14. Scott McLaughlin, $485,000
15. Helio Castroneves, $481,500
16. Tony Kanaan, $105,000
17. Marco Andretti, $102,000
18. Jack Harvey, $472,000
19. Christian Lundgaard, $467,500
20. Ed Carpenter, $102,000
21. Benjamin Pedersen (R), $215,300
22. Graham Rahal, $565,500*
23. Will Power, $488,000
24. Pato O’Ward, $516,500
25. Simon Pagenaud, $465,500
26. Agustín Canapino (R), $156,300
27. Felix Rosenqvist, $278,300
28. Kyle Kirkwood, $465,500
29. David Malukas, $462,000
30. Romain Grosjean, $462,000
31. Sting Ray Robb (R), $463,000
32. RC Enerson (R), $103,000
33.  Katherine Legge, $102,000

*–Broken down between two teams, $460,000 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, $105,500 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing/Cusick Motorsports