Yuki Tsunoda talks about improving his fitness levels from last year to F1 2022, as Franz Tost expands on how they are helping the Japanese driver.

Grand Prix drivers have to be fit as their bodies go through a lot in the races. Often the fitness part is not discussed as much especially for F1 rookies. Tsunoda, who graduated to the highest level last year faced difficulties and had to work harder to go through the year.

He moved out from United Kingdom to Faenza to be under a close watch of AlphaTauri boss after Red Bull pushed them to make sure that Tsunoda has a serious schedule. The episode was captured in Drive to Survive’s Season 4 as well, which resulted in a light banter between the Japanese and the Austrian.

“I mean like because you guys don’t know how fit Franz is, he is running like 10 K from 5:30 AM which I have never done in my life,” started Tsunoda. “And I mean also last year especially the first half of the season I was taking pretty much every day Uber Eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner, one hand the games control and one hand food, so it was especially really bad.

“So, I think hopefully I was fitter than Franz but if I heard how he is training every day, how much he is spending on training, I got really depressed, I don’t know how old he is, maybe if a 60-years-old can do it, then maybe I should do it especially as an athlete, especially after moving to F1. I especially tried to change my mind.

“Last year I felt my fitness was at a kind of limitation of performance, so a refocus about fitness, completely different schedule compared to previous years how I spent off season and I felt much better.  I felt like improving prior to Barcelona so I feel in much better shape,” summed up Tusnoda, whose boss Tost then reiterated his side noting that some of the saying was a banter between them.

“Yuki…it was a good joke from his side [in the press conference],” said Tost. “Yuki is fit, otherwise he would not have finished here in the ninth position last year in Bahrain and of course as I mentioned already when a rookie driver comes into Formula One, it is very demanding especially from the physical point of view because you have so many G Forces in the corners, under braking and so on.

“He realised as all the other young drivers realise that you have to do even more physical training. And therefore it’s important to sit in the car because the best training is sitting in the car. And once you sit in the car, once you have done a race you feel where you have the pain, then you can talk to your trainer, to your physiotherapist, how to change the physical training to strengthen the muscles where you were suffering.

“And regarding Yuki he came then to Faenza, his trainer was with him. And he had to train twice a day in the morning and in the afternoon. And he did very good. The physical fitness because of the training improved there, therefore, I think that Yuki this year is in a very good shape. But once more, he was not so bad last year, it’s just a new comer Formula One, you can ask all the others as well, it’s something new.

“It’s Formula One, these cars, they are so fast. I don’t know any driver who is not suffering after the first races or after the first runs in the Formula One car, because it’s very, very demanding. And Yuki trained a lot. And he’s in a good shape. And I’m looking forward to see him this season in the car,” summed up Tost.

When asked if Tsunoda is running at 5:30 AM with Tost, the Austrian laughed it off, noting that it is not about the two training together but more for the F1 driver and his trainer to do it themselves. He only guided them as to what’s best can be done to improve the situation.

“My morning runs, Yuki does not stand up at 5 o’clock to run with me,” continued Tost. “No, I don’t run with him. First of all running is not his discipline because he has a little bit shorter legs. And it’s not important that he goes running with me at 5 o’clock in the morning, no, he has his coach, I talked a lot with his coach and he was also or each Formula One driver has to do a test also in a thread pool in the fitness center where they find out where are the deficiencies and these recites are important.

“These are the basic for their developments on the physical side, because every athlete every driver is different. They are not all the same. And therefore you have to make individual special training programme. And I did not train with Yuki, I just said to Yuki and to the trainer, find the correct way to improve the performance and the physical strength. And this is what they did,” summed up Tost.

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