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Formula 1 superstar Yuki Tsunoda explains why he’s jealous of ex-teammate Nyck de Vries ahead of home race

Formula 1 driver Yuki Tsunoda is back in Japan and has good reason to be jealous after discovering one of motorsport’s other great series.

VCARB Red Bull driver Tsunoda is a megastar in his home country and so fans were excited to see him on track for the Tokyo Formula E race.

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Tsunoda is in good spirits at home after securing his team’s first points of the season last time out.Credit: AFP

The 23-year-old’s former teammate and 2021 FE champion Nyck de Vries was back on the grid for the race, and Tsunoda had to admit to a brief moment of envy during a week of action in the sport automobile in Japan.

“I’m excited, Suzuka is my home Grand Prix and my favorite track,” he said. “But at the same time I’m very jealous that Formula E is able to organize events like this in the middle of Tokyo. That’s another story but I’m still very excited for Suzuka.”

Does Tsunoda want more street tracks like the Madrid 2026 race, though? Well, not exactly.

He explained: “To be honest, I would like to keep the old school circuits like Suzuka and Spa as much as possible.

“I know that street circuits give a different taste and attract new people, but at the same time we don’t want to have too many. I think at the moment the balance is very good and I hope we can maintain it.

Tsuonda also managed to chat with his former teammate and Mahindra driver De Vries.

“It was a good catch-up with Nyck,” he said. “He’s definitely doing a really good job this year and last year as well. He is still developing the car but he is still a very fast driver and his feedback is always incredible.

Despite De Vries’ superb track record with championship victories in FE and Formula 2, his F1 career only lasted ten races.

Tsunoda races alongside Ricciardo this year after De Vries' brief spell

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Tsunoda races alongside Ricciardo this year after De Vries’ brief spellCredit: Getty

The Dutchman started the season as Tsunoda’s teammate at Alpha Tauri, but was abruptly replaced midway through the season by Daniel Ricciardo.

Ricciardo hasn’t fared much better, scoring points in just one Grand Prix, and the story hasn’t been too different this season.

With suggestions that Ricciardo and Tsunoda will audition for a place as Max Verstappen’s teammate on the parent team next season, there is a lot at stake for the duo.

Tensions already came to a head at the season opener in Bahrain when the Japanese driver had to give way to the Australian and then forced him into a brake check after flag-to-flag.

Tsuonda, however, insists that everything is fine between the two, adding: “He’s very funny, he gives a lot of light to the team and I really respect him.

“There’s a lot of things I can learn and I think he’s a little bit the opposite of me off the track. His maturity and consistent state of mind.

“As teammates we work very well and share a lot of opinions about the car and so far the whole team is happy, so I hope we can continue like this.”

He continues: “So far I’m quite happy (with my season) also with the performance of the car, it’s very consistent on three completely different circuits.

“We are capable of being in the top 10 so I have some confidence for the races to come and I hope that in Suzuka we can put in a good performance. We will continue to do what we are doing and hopefully we can develop a lot more and even fight against the top five teams.

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