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Tsunoda: AlphaTauri needs to run no wing to counter "horrible" top speed

Yuki Tsunoda has suggested his AlphaTauri Formula 1 team will have to run with "no wing" in Azerbaijan to make up for poor straightline speed.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Tsunoda finished 10th in the Australian Grand Prix after spending much of the race fighting McLaren's Oscar Piastri.

Through Albert Park's fastest speed trap – at the second intermediate timing point – he was 17th fastest, logging 314.2 km/h compared to the 339.9 km/h of the fastest car, the Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

Speaking after scoring the team's first point of the year in Australia, the Japanese driver called the AT04's performance on the straights "horrible".

Asked by Autosport about Baku's sprint format, Tsunoda admitted that speed on the straights was his major concern.

"It will be crazy," he said. "But at same time today I just had a massive drag on the straight, and straightline speed was horrible.

"So in Baku we need at least no wing or something like that to maximise straightline speed."

Tsunoda compromised his weekend in Australia by going off in FP1 and damaging the a new specification floor.

The team only had two examples and Nyck de Vries only used his from FP2 onwards, which did at least mean that the team had a direct back-to-back comparison for the whole weekend.

"Yeah, definitely was my mistake that I had to kind of force myself to use the old floor, which is was not ideal for the team," said Tsunoda.

"Apologies from myself. Fortunately I think I maximised performance, what we did. Pretty happy with the performance. So yeah, looking forward to Baku."

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

The biggest positive Tsunoda drew from the Melbourne weekend was a strong getaway at the final grid restart, when he weaved his way through the chaos ahead from 13th to fifth.

The final red flag that followed saw the order reset to the previous grid, but with both Alpines out and Carlos Sainz penalised it meant Tsunoda moved up to 10th at the flag.

"Potentially I could have ended up fifth," he said. "The incidents happened behind myself, because I had pretty much a mega start and into Turn 1 I overtook six cars or something like that, so even without incidents I was able to finish P6 or P5.

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"So a bit frustrated, but it is what it is, I had to go back to the normal position. P10 was definitely positive, and I would say we should take that result because I had a really, really difficult race from the beginning on, so I didn't expect to finish in the points.

"But after the red flag it was a bit frustrating. The start that we did right after the red flag was just completely useless, there's no point, you just burn the fuel."

Tsunoda also survived an earlier clash with Piastri that resulted in no further action from the stewards: "He just turned in, I think. I didn't see properly but yeah, we had a contact."

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