Yuki Tsunoda '50% happy' with debut despite points

Yuki Tsunoda '50% happy' with debut despite points

03/28/2021

Yuki Tsunoda was happy to score points on his AlphaTauri debut, but was also frustrated by “big mistakes” in Bahrain.

The Japanese racer made the step up to Formula 1 this season, and already after one race weekend it has been made clear why Honda see great potential in the 20-year-old.

And to score two points with P9 on his debut was a solid start, though the other “50%” of Tsunoda was frustrated by errors, such as a poor first lap which saw him lose multiple positions.

“I’m glad to get points, but I lost quite a lot of positions on the first lap,” he told reporters in the paddock.

“That was my big mistake and I had to recover from that, so I’m happy 50%, but still 50% my big mistakes and it was possible to go more forward in the points positions.

“The first points feel okay, but I think there is a lot of space to improve on this race next time at Imola.”

But surely Tsunoda took encouragement from his fightback which included a late pass on Lance Stroll for P9?

“The pace was good, the last three laps I was behind Stroll and I got in the dirty air, and I really struggled to adapt to that dirty air, and made quite a lot of mistakes” he explained.

“The last lap in the first corner, there was quite a gap, so I just sent it, glad that I passed him, and I’m happy for the first points.”

There was also an overtake on a star from Tsunoda’s childhood, Fernando Alonso.

“I had some strong overtakes during the race and, for me, overtaking Fernando was quite an emotional experience, he’s a Formula 1 superstar that I’ve grown up watching, so that was pretty exciting,” he told the AlphaTauri website.

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But on the other side of the garage it was a terrible afternoon for Pierre Gasly who found his race ruined on Lap 1 following contact with Daniel Ricciardo.

The Frenchman had hoped for far better after qualifying P5, but a broken front wing and floor damage forced him to retire.

“Very disappointed right now because we had a very strong weekend since we arrived, and starting on P5 I was hoping for some good points,” he admitted to the media.

“And then it was pretty much over after the contact with Daniel on Lap 1.

“I don’t really know exactly what happened, I need to review the footage to know whether I braked too late or exactly what happened, but the race was pretty much over, I broke the front wing, I had floor damage, and was a minute behind after one lap so really disappointed.”

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