Tsunoda: Italy move has improved approach to races

Yuki Tsunoda says a relocation to Italy to be closer to the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team's base was “definitely a good decision” resulting in a much improved approach to races.

Tsunoda: Italy move has improved approach to races

Tsunoda started his rookie year operating out of the UK, after impressing Red Bull bosses by finishing third overall in FIA Formula 2 last season to secure an F1 graduation with AlphaTauri.

The Japanese driver then earned high praise by starring on his debut at the Bahrain season opener after charging through to score points in ninth.

However, he failed to score in the next three races, with a notable low point coming at Imola when he crashed out of qualifying and then spun in the race while inside the points.

The drop in form prompted Red Bull to move Tsunoda to Faenza, Italy, in June, in a bid to rebuild the driver’s confidence and to integrate him more with his AlphaTauri team.

Reflecting on the move, the 21-year-old says the decision is already reaping rewards, by improving his discipline and focus. Since the relocation, Tsunoda has yielded four points finishes in the past seven races.

“I think moving to Faenza or near the factory was definitely a good decision,” Tsunoda told Autosport.

"And, that's why I found a couple of good approaches before Azerbaijan.

“Recently, I think the whole race week, how I build up the pace and progress through the sessions went better compared to the first three races or four races, except for France.

“I think definitely it was a good decision. And I spend a lot of time with engineers, more than I have [before]. So it's a really good thing.

“I like it, I prefer Italy more, to be honest. I like the food, because I think Japanese food is a little bit similar to Italy, and there's a lot of Italian restaurants in Japan. So it's a quite familiar taste, and it's more near to Japan [in terms of feeling]. And also, I like the weather.”

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri

Photo by: Motorsport Images

Tsunoda admits that his discipline and focus this season could have been better prior to the move to Italy, having previously spent his time between events in the UK training and playing video games.

Now, he is able to talk to his engineers at the workshop on a regular basis which has resulted in him being much calmer when approaching race weekends.

“Recently, I've tried to spend more [time] to the racing, which I should do, of course, from before the season,” he added.

“But, like I said, I spend more time with engineers and working together, analysing the race, the previous race or prepare for the next race, so that was good.

“And definitely I felt more relaxed before the Friday, because it's all prepared. And we chat already before I come to the track.

“Before I moved to Italy, I was playing video games and of course I was doing training, but most of time I was spending in front of the screen.

“I was not making the time to think about the racing or, you know, think about the next race.

“Recently, yeah, I try to think more about the racing and that's why we found another couple of different things, and a couple of issues from the previous races, and we just make it better for the next race.

“So I feel good step from every race. So yeah, definitely I needed more strong discipline.”

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