Tsunoda: Silverstone F1 a breakthrough in understanding tyres

AlphaTauri Formula 1 driver Yuki Tsunoda says the British GP provided a breakthrough in terms of understanding tyre management that will help him in future races.

Tsunoda: Silverstone F1 a breakthrough in understanding tyres

The rookie has had a difficult season thus far, struggling to match the one-lap pace of his team mate Pierre Gasly, and enjoying mixed fortunes in races.

Silverstone was another tough test for him as he had just one free practice session on Friday before qualifying and parc ferme rules were applied.

Neither AlphaTauri driver was happy with the car once its setup was fixed, with Gasly having what he called his “worst” qualifying session. However after a frustrating sprint race Tsunoda was able to use the main event to focus on learning how to look after his tyres.

“I think for the tyre management, I was really good,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com about his race. “I think last Austria I was saving too much and I was just too slow.

“I tried to improve this for Silverstone and in the first stint I pushed flat out almost, and especially after the second stint I changed to hard tyre, but with a little bit more tyre management, and that worked well. So I just keep that experience and use it for the future.”

Tsunoda eventually finished 10th, helped by a late spin for Kimi Raikkonen and a puncture for Gasly.

“I was happy to get a point,” he said. Those last three or five laps the position was changing a lot. But yeah, overall the different format made it difficult, one free practice and then straight to qualifying, which I had never experienced in Silverstone.

"It was quite a tough race week. And having a tricky qualifying due to the traffic, I couldn’t do a proper lap, but in the end we were able to get a point which we wanted, so I’m happy.”

Tsunoda said the car was particularly difficult when following others: “Free air is really good, I think. In free air I was always having a quite neutral balance. But as soon as I got dirty air I was having an inconsistent balance a lot, and I was struggling to drive properly.

"We have to work hard there to have more overtakes or whatever, but that’s the main limitation for now.

“I just focused on my tyre management. I had a very good confidence for this Silverstone tyre management. So I just tried to stick to the plan and I expected it was going to be tough for following the car behind, so I tried to manage the tyres as much as possible.

"When I got free air I just tried to push as much as I could, and that worked well for the strategy, especially the first stint.”

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