Tsunoda surprised AlphaTauri handed him fresh F1 contract

Yuki Tsunoda has admitted that he was surprised AlphaTauri decided to keep him on for a second season in Formula 1.

Tsunoda surprised AlphaTauri handed him fresh F1 contract

The Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri squad announced earlier this week that it would be retaining the same driver line-up of Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly for 2022.

But after a rookie campaign for Tsunoda that has been blighted by a number of crashes, the young Japanese racer was aware of the risk that his bosses could lose faith in him.

Speaking ahead of the Italian Grand Prix, Tsunoda said: “To be honest my first half of the season was quite inconsistent.

“From my side I was a bit surprised I'll be staying next year. So first of all, thanks for the team.”

Pushed on why he was surprised by AlphaTauri’s decision, Tsunoda singled out the high number of mistakes he had made throughout the season.

“I kept crashing and spend [cost] a lot of money for the team,” he said. “I was not on a good way to end the first half of the season, especially in Hungary when I went to the wall in FP1 and ruined a whole session, almost two sessions.

“For Franz [Tost, team boss] and Helmut [Marko from Red Bull], you need a more consistent result and more driving, and also discipline in the sessions. I couldn't improve through the first half of the season, and that's why.”

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, walks away from his car after spinning out in practice

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, walks away from his car after spinning out in practice

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Tsunoda emerged from an impressive debut outing in Bahrain being hailed by F1 director of motorsport Ross Brawn as the championship’s best rookie for years.

But his reputation took a battering in the wake of a number of crashes, including high profile errors in qualifying at Imola and Paul Ricard.

Read Also:

Reflecting on his approach to the season, Tsunoda admitted that his confidence had suffered after his early campaign woes.

“I didn't know what was going to happen at the first F1 race and I just fully sent it almost every session,” he said. “At that point, I felt very good, and I was feeling I was driving very well at that point.

“I think from Imola, especially after qualifying, I lost maybe a little bit of confidence. I kept doing mistakes every time so I reset: building confidence.

“I didn't expect it to be that difficult in F1, because even in junior categories, if I had a massive slap or went into the wall, I never lost this much confidence. So that's one main issue. That's why I'm building up and trying to have more consistent laps, and consistent sessions.

“And also at the beginning of the season, expectations were too high. And that's why I think the first race went well. But after that it was just getting confusing each session and each race week, and that made it spiral.”

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen unsure Red Bull gains "enough to fight" Mercedes at Monza
Previous article

Verstappen unsure Red Bull gains "enough to fight" Mercedes at Monza

Next article

Autosport Podcast: Liuzzi on his F1 career and Italian GP preview

Autosport Podcast: Liuzzi on his F1 career and Italian GP preview
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022
How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022