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Tsunoda relieved to lose F1 reprimands at Monza, penalty points piling up

Yuki Tsunoda is relieved to have lost his reprimands by taking a grid penalty at the Italian GP, but inches close to a race ban from accumulated penalty points.

Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda, Scuderia AlphaTauri

Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Tsunoda received a 10-place grid penalty for Monza after picking up his fifth reprimand of the season for driving back to the pits with his seatbelts loosened during the Dutch GP.

He had previously received a reprimand for driving unnecessarily slowly in Australia, which was followed by three others for impeding offences in Australia, Bahrain and Monaco.

Knowing that he was coming to Monza with a grid penalty AlphaTauri gave Tsunoda a new power unit, guaranteeing that he would start at the back of the grid.

Having combined the reprimands and power unit penalties in one hit, Tsunoda made his life more difficult by speeding under yellows in practice.

That earned him a three-place grid penalty that was in effect meaningless, but more importantly two penalty points, taking him up to eight for the season. Just four more will trigger a one-race ban.

"At least I don't have to think about any reprimands which were already stacking behind my arse,” he said when asked by Autosport/Motorsport.com about the situation regarding penalties.

”At least it's clear now. I can fight quite hard from now. Well, I've got eight points penalties I have still.

"Of course, I take care as much as possible to not do stupid moves. But the thing is I try to overtake and crash it, or whatever that's a kind of different thing, it's good learning.

“But a couple of times I did unnecessary things, like yellow flags for example, the penalty points, definitely I have to stop those things."

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost called Tsunoda’s Monza yellow flag penalty “not clever” and said he must be “more disciplined.” Tsunoda admitted that it was a silly mistake.

"There was a bit of a misunderstanding to be honest between my engineer and me. I got a radio call that I misunderstood myself. Normally of course I reduce the speed myself, and I never got a penalty for yellow flags, and there was a bit of misunderstanding with the radio, that's why I didn't really slow.

“Still it is my responsibility, I should still reduce it, especially yellow flag for the safety. It was good learning for next time."

Tsunoda finished Q1 at Monza in a solid eighth place, but given that he was destined for 20th the team opted not to run him for the rest of the session.

"I was preparing for the race more than the qualifying performance. So we decided to not run in Q2, which was already planned before FP2. Which is okay, and at least I went Q2 . So it is positive. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow, and hopefully this preparation from what I did from FP1 will work out."

“Hopefully the pace will be good, at Monza it's possible to overtake. It will be difficult, but it's not like it's not possible."

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