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Tsunoda got "too excited" before Imola qualifying crash

Yuki Tsunoda has apologised to the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team following his crash in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, saying he got “too excited”.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02 after his crashes

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02 after his crashes

Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Following his impressive showing on debut in Bahrain three weeks ago, Tsunoda arrived at Imola hopeful of challenging for a second haul of points and a maiden Q3 appearance.

But the Japanese driver lost the rear of his AT02 car at the exit of the Variante Alta chicane, causing him to spin backwards into the wall.

It left his car with significant damage and brought out a red flag, as well as resigning Tsunoda to last place on the grid for tomorrow’s race without setting a time in qualifying.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02 after his crashes

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02 after his crashes

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

“I was just pushing too much at entry, to be honest,” Tsunoda explained.

“Until then the lap felt great, actually. I think that potentially it was easy to go through Q1 with one tyre.

“I was just too excited. For me, that was a silly mistake, so I feel really sorry for the team. You have to reset today, and just drive the race tomorrow.”

Tsunoda was able to walk away from the accident despite taking a sizeable hit, and said he didn’t feel in any pain, but was “more worried about the car than me.”

“It looked pretty bad actually, what I saw at the back [of the car],” Tsunoda said.

“I really hope the car is repaired properly tomorrow. Just feel sorry for the team today.”

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Tsunoda caught attention in Bahrain with a number of aggressive overtakes, including passes on Fernando Alonso and a last-lap lunge on Lance Stroll to grab ninth place.

Although overtaking is likely to be more difficult around the tight Imola layout, Tsunoda was upbeat about his chances of fighting back up the order during the race, believing that rain could be due to shake things up.

“Tomorrow is going to be maybe different conditions, rain, to try to help me a bit,” Tsunoda said.

“So just really put it altogether and don’t do mistakes like today. I think it will be a bit of a different view.

“It’s going to be different conditions, so I just have to adapt to the conditions tomorrow, and push until the end.”

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