Tsunoda issues apology to AlphaTauri for post-qualifying outburst

Yuki Tsunoda has apologised to his AlphaTauri team for questioning whether he was getting the same equipment as Formula 1 teammate Pierre Gasly.

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The Japanese driver was angry after being dumped out of Q1 for the Spanish Grand Prix, having been left with no explanation as to why he was lacking pace.

Tsunoda went on to suggest that the characteristics of his AlphaTauri AT02 car seemed different to those of Gasly across the garage, who managed to qualify 12th in Spain. He pointed out that the feedback he was giving about the car was not the same as Gasly’s, leaving him with doubts as to whether or not they were running identical cars.

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“It’s always different feedback compared to my team-mate, even when we try the opposite,” Tsunoda told television reporters. “I have a little bit question mark [if it] is the same car - of course it’s the same car, but just the character of the car is just too different.

“Maybe, of course, it’s a different driving style. But yeah, I don’t know, I don’t understand what happened, why I’m struggling this much.”

But a few hours later, Tsunoda took to social media to say sorry for what he had said.

“I wanted to apologise for my comments today,” he wrote. “I didn’t mean to criticise the team who have done a great job all weekend. I was just frustrated with my performance. Full send tomorrow.”

 

Writing in Japanese, Tsunoda suggested that key to improved performance was working more with the team to get a better grip on why things were not working out.

“I feel that we still need to deepen our understanding of the car,” he said. “I would like to proceed with the data analysis with the team and seek a better setup.”

Tsunoda has had a rollercoaster first season in F1 with AlphaTauri.

Having impressed to score points on his F1 debut in Bahrain, he endured a weekend to forget in Imola as he threw away qualifying with a crash in Q1 and then spun in the race to come home 12th.

He also had a disappointing run to 15th in Portugal last weekend after again failing to get fully on top of his car’s performance.

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