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Gasly: "Very funny" Tsunoda taking F1 more seriously this year

Pierre Gasly believes Yuki Tsunoda “probably took Formula 1 a bit more seriously” through his second season, allowing him to provide better feedback to push the team forward.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Tsunoda made his F1 debut with AlphaTauri in 2021 alongside Gasly, but endured an up-and-down rookie season featuring a smattering of crashes and incidents. 

The Japanese driver admitted earlier this year that he “didn’t know what I was doing” through much of his rookie season as he got his head around certain aspects of F1. 

Tsunoda has performed more consistently so far this year, prompting him to rate his campaign to date at 7/10.

Gasly felt he had seen Tsunoda progress “quite a lot” between his first and second seasons in F1, in part thanks to a shift in approach. 

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"I think now he took probably Formula 1 a bit more seriously, which was the right approach to have,” Gasly told Autosport.  

“From what he says, I did have an impact on that side to show him the sort of dedication and commitment that this sport required. 

“This year, we’ve been working as a team, where last year it was kind of a little bit divided, because didn’t have much experience. He was still quite new to the sport. 

“This year I think he’s got clear ideas and clearer feedback on what we actually need to go faster, so we can work together to improve the package that we have.” 

AlphaTauri is currently working to fully understand the car update it brought to the French Grand Prix after Gasly and Tsunoda struggled to make a big step forward with the package. 

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03, battles with Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03, battles with Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

The team has failed to score any points since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the start of June, where Gasly finished fifth. 

AlphaTauri technical director Jody Egginton echoed Gasly’s thoughts, believing that Tsunoda had made a step forward with his technical understanding compared to his rookie season. 

“There’s a lot of information the drivers have got to take on board and it doesn’t always stick immediately,” Egginton told Autosport.  

“Like with anyone in any sort of difficult or technical exercise, or even like exam revision, practice makes perfect. More things are clicking now that he’s understanding things. 

“He’s also forming better opinions of what he wants on the car. And that takes time, with any driver.” 

Gasly and Tsunoda have formed a friendly relationship off-track as well, taking part in a number of events and producing content together for AlphaTauri including videos and podcasts. 

“He’s very funny,” Gasly said of Tsunoda. 

“He doesn’t have any filter, which is what I appreciate, and do entertain quite a lot. Whatever crosses his mind is out of his mouth a tenth of a second later.

“Then he’ll think about it later and probably, most of the time regret the stuff he said! It just makes him very funny.” 

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