AlphaTauri investigating Tsunoda’s 'drifting' car issue that led to VSC

AlphaTauri is investigating the issue that ended Yuki Tsunoda’s Dutch Grand Prix early after his Formula 1 car felt like it was “drifting”, causing him to stop twice on-track.

AlphaTauri investigating Tsunoda’s 'drifting' car issue that led to VSC

Tsunoda pulled up at the side of the track on Lap 43, reporting to AlphaTauri over the radio that not all of his tyres were fitted correctly.

Thirty seconds later, Tsunoda was told to continue as there was no data suggesting anything was wrong. He returned to the pits to have his seatbelts retightened and a different set of tyres fitted to his car.

But soon after going back out on-track, Tsunoda was told by his engineer to stop the car as the team had spotted a problem. Tsunoda parked near a gap in the fence by a marshal post, but a Virtual Safety Car was still required to recover his car safely.

AlphaTauri chief engineer for vehicle performance Claudio Balestri called the issue a “car failure” in the team's post-race press release, and confirmed it was being investigated.

“After the pit stop he reported something strange at the rear of the car, we called him in again to change the tyres and immediately after we had a car failure,” said Balestri.

“This is currently under investigation within the team.”

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Erik Junius

Asked by Autosport about the initial stoppage, Tsunoda said he “thought there was an issue” that was “quite clear, especially at the left-rear.”

“I got told from engineer to stop, but we didn’t see any clear issue or any issue in the data,” said Tsunoda.

“That’s why we rejoined back again to pit for new tyres. After that, we saw a clear issue in the data. That’s why we stopped.”

But Tsunoda said the problem persisted as soon as he left the pits, feeling like there was “only one wheel that was having wheelspin.”

“I was like drifting on the straight, like, I was doing counter-steering on the straight,” Tsunoda said.

“That is why I didn’t feel like it’s normal. That’s why.”

Tsunoda had been in contention to score his first points since the Spanish Grand Prix in May, having reached Q3 on Saturday ahead of team-mate Pierre Gasly.

Read Also:

Tsunoda felt his performance had been “pretty strong this week”, but he wanted to get a clean weekend to rediscover his form.

“First I need a clean race week, I think I could have a good rhythm after that,” said Tsunoda.

“Currently I don’t have a good rhythm at all. So I just want to be back into the good rhythm and to score points consistently.”

Tsunoda was later handed a reprimand by the stewards for loosening his seatbelts while in the cockpit after his initial stoppage, saying he was “ready to abandon the car and started to loosen the safety belt, without unlocking it.”

“After that he travelled back to the pits where the mechanics re-fastened the belts,” the stewards’ bulletin reads.

“It is not possible, to determine exactly to which degree the seatbelt had been loosened by the driver.”

The stewards’ document also stated it was a differential issue that caused Tsunoda to initially stop on-track, something Tsunoda also claimed over the radio.

Additional reporting by Oleg Karpov

shares
comments
Ricciardo: Webber apologises as pair finally talk over Piastri situation
Previous article

Ricciardo: Webber apologises as pair finally talk over Piastri situation

Next article

Who are the best British F1 drivers statistically? Hamilton, Mansell & more

Who are the best British F1 drivers statistically? Hamilton, Mansell & more
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars Plus

How one retro event could prove an alluring prospect for Formula 1 stars

While Formula 1 drivers taking part in retro events can prove costly, as Charles Leclerc discovered at the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, the Goodwood Revival could prove an interesting experiment for today's stars. As the event's own Tourist Trophy race proves it means serious business, a race for current F1 drivers feels as though it’s in line with where the event is currently at

Goodwood Revival
Sep 21, 2022