AlphaTauri rubbishes Dutch GP conspiracy theories and defends Schmitz

The AlphaTauri Formula 1 team has responded to conspiracy theories concerning Yuki Tsunoda’s retirement from the Dutch Grand Prix.

AlphaTauri rubbishes Dutch GP conspiracy theories and defends Schmitz

The accusations on social media were stoked by the impact the virtual safety car had on the race that followed Tsunoda's retirement, favouring Max Verstappen at the expense of Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Red Bull head of strategy Hannah Schmitz has been the victim of online abuse as a result.

The drama began when emerging from his pitstop Tsunoda suspected that a wheel was not properly attached.

He was told by his engineer to stop on track, and having done so, he switched his engine off and prepared to abandon the car.

However, the team’s data told it that the pitstop had gone to plan and the wheels were safely secured, so he was told to restart and drive back to the pits, where he could take a fresh set of tyres.

When he stopped on track he’d loosened his belts as he prepared to get out, and they had to be tightened once again in the extra stop, costing him time and attracting the attention of the stewards.

As soon as he left the pitbox Tsunoda reported that he could still feel the same issue, suggesting that it might be related to the car differential. He was told continue out of the pitlane to keep the exit clear and find a safe place to park before switching off and alighting from the car.

The VSC that followed allowed leader Verstappen to take a cheap second stop for fresh tyres. Meanwhile Hamilton and Russell lost the advantage they were expected to have, had the race unfolded under normal conditions and they had run to the flag as planned without needing a second stop.

Hannah Schmitz, Principal Strategy Engineer at Red Bull Racing

Hannah Schmitz, Principal Strategy Engineer at Red Bull Racing

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

While the whole episode looked strange on TV, at the time a review of the onboard footage and radio conversations confirmed it was a simple case of team and driver not knowing what had got wrong, and reacting as best they could to the unusual circumstances.

The FIA stewards looked into it immediately after the race, and the only action they took was to hand Tsunoda a reprimand for driving with his belts loosened.

Read Also:

However, suggestions of a conspiracy between the Red Bull and AlphaTauri teams quickly emerged on social media, with abuse directed at Schmitz.

AlphaTauri responded on Monday with a statement rubbishing the theories, and defending Schmitz.

“It is incredibly disheartening to read some of the language and comments directed at our team and towards Red Bull Racing's Head of Strategy, Hannah Schmitz,” said the statement.

“Such hateful behaviour cannot be tolerated, and to entertain accusations of foul play is unacceptable, untrue and completely disrespectful towards both Hannah and us.

“We have always competed independently, fairly and with the highest levels of respect and sportsmanship.

“Yuki had a failure that the team didn't immediately detect which caused him to stop on track. To suggest anything different is insulting and categorically incorrect.”

shares
comments

Related video

10 things we learned from the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix
Previous article

10 things we learned from the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix

Next article

When can Verstappen clinch the 2022 F1 world title?

When can Verstappen clinch the 2022 F1 world title?
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Plus

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022