Tsunoda's Hamilton defence in Turkey F1 an attempt to help Verstappen

Yuki Tsunoda tried fending off Lewis Hamilton “as much as possible” early in the Turkish Grand Prix to help Max Verstappen’s Formula 1 title hopes in Honda’s final season.

Tsunoda's Hamilton defence in Turkey F1 an attempt to help Verstappen

Honda-backed youngster Tsunoda reached Q3 for the third time this season at Istanbul Park on Saturday, and started well to sit eighth early on ahead of Hamilton.

The AlphaTauri driver was able to keep Hamilton back for a number of laps with some solid defending, stalling the Mercedes’ driver’s recovery from a grid penalty that meant he started 11th.

But Hamilton was eventually able to make a pass on lap eight around the outside of Turn 3, with Tsunoda then dropping out of the points after spinning on lap 22.

Tsunoda explained that he “used too much tyre early on” in the fight with Hamilton, but that he wanted to do everything he could to help Honda-powered Verstappen’s title bid for Red Bull before the Japanese manufacturer’s exit from F1 at the ned of the year.

“I want Max to win in the last year of Honda, and for Red Bull as well,” Tsunoda said.

“So I tried to hold Lewis up as much as possible, for I don't know how many laps. I was trying to save more of my tyre.

“I tried to hold him behind for 20 laps. Eight laps is not enough.”

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Hamilton would go on to finish the race fifth for Mercedes, meaning Verstappen regained the championship lead by six points with six races remaining.

Tsunoda crossed the line 14th in the end, and lamented the spin after believing he had the pace to score points.

He explained that the dirty spray - something also noted by Nikita Mazepin and Lando Norris - made him think a car was close behind, prompting him to push harder.

“I couldn't see anything because of dirt and dust,” Tsunoda said.

“I just couldn't see, I thought there was a car right behind me so I just have to push, and I spun.

“The spin ruined my whole race so it's a shame. We were able to score points today so yeah, just a shame.”

Tsunoda also rued the lost points as AlphaTauri pushed to catch Alpine for fifth place in the constructors’ championship, with the gap standing at 12 points after Turkey.

“It was an opportunity to get us big points compared to other teams,” he said.

shares
comments

Related video

"Useless" hybrid rules shows F1 needs better green push - Vettel
Previous article

"Useless" hybrid rules shows F1 needs better green push - Vettel

Next article

Alonso sorry for Schumacher clash early in Turkish GP

Alonso sorry for Schumacher clash early in Turkish GP
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
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022