Yuki Tsunoda thanked AlphaTauri and his trainer for helping him settle into life in Europe, though he admits getting used to the food and language have been the toughest things to adjust to since his move from Japan.
The 20-year-old is making the step up from Formula 2, partnering Pierry Gasly as the Faenza based team look to build on their strong 2020 campaign that saw the Frenchman take victory at the Italian Grand Prix.
While Tsunoda has started to settle into his surroundings, he revealed there are aspects of his new life that he is still coming to terms with, namely his diet and language.
"The food! And the language," Tsunoda told AlphaTauri's official website when asked what the most difficult part of life in Europe has been. "When I first came to Europe, I lived in Switzerland with everyone speaking French which was not easy. Also, the food: I really like food and having to change my diet – I like sushi and Japanese food in general – I got a little bit stressed.
"This new way of living made life a bit more difficult, but the team and my trainer helped a lot with that. I eventually adapted and I’m happy where I am now."
Tsunoda reaffirmed that sentiment when asked what he would bring with him from Japan to Italy, and vice versa.
"Sushi from Japan to Italy, and cheese from Italy to Japan…I love blue cheese," Tsunoda added.
Tsunoda will be the youngest driver on the grid in 2021, along with being the first Japanese drive since Kamui Kobayashi in 2014, but he isn't putting any added pressure on himself to perform in his first Formula 1 season
"No, not really, this will be my rookie season and I will be pushing hard right from the beginning to adapt to the car as much as possible," Tsunoda stated. "However, I’m not afraid to make mistakes – I will of course try and limit them – but they are inevitable at the beginning.
"I am confident I can learn from my mistakes though, as I proved last year in Formula 2. I am really happy to have the support of Japanese fans, and I’m proud to be the one to bring another Japanese driver on the grid, after Kamui Kobayashi in 2014. As for the pressure, I put it on myself, so nothing changes in that regard for me – I want to push myself to succeed."