Scuderia AlphaTauri uploaded a Manga-style artwork of driver Yuki Tsunoda yesterday, celebrating the Japanese driver’s home run this weekend in Suzuka. However, many fans haven’t received the artwork well due to an insensitive and rather controversial symbol of the Rising Sun Flag on it.
As the teams gear up for the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at Suzuka, it must be an exciting race for Tsunoda who just finished P5 in Free Practice 1. His team, however, posted an artwork without doing enough background research, thus causing it to come under fire from fans on social media platform X. Though the Rising Sun Flag has been a part of Japanese history, it has been associated by many countries as a symbol of atrocities that Japan committed on the people during the second world war and hence, it is often related to the Nazi symbol of the Swastika.
Realizing the mistake after receiving several comments from fans who pointed out the grave error, AlphaTauri has released a formal apology on the same platform, but the artwork hasn’t been taken down yet. The statement reads:
“We have seen some comments over the last few hours, about our Japanese GP poster.
“We created this poster just for an aesthetic purpose without any intention of referencing any political movement or historic fact.
“We apologize with everyone who could be offended by such an involuntary reference. This poster was purely intended to celebrate the race week of one of the most iconic and popular races on the F1 calendar.”
“Though the artwork could have been an innocent mistake, being done purely in the interest of the sport and an iconic circuit like Suzuka, fans have questioned the apology, asking why the post hasn’t been taken down yet.”
Yuki Tsunoda’s contract with AlphaTauri expires toward the end of this year. However, the 23-year-old racing driver recently hinted rather confidently that a contract extension for the next season is coming soon.