Tsunoda's rookie F1 struggles "not out of the blue" - AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri technical chief Jody Egginton says Yuki Tsunoda's rookie struggles have not come "out of the blue" given the growing complexity and difficulty of entering Formula 1 for young drivers.

Tsunoda's rookie F1 struggles "not out of the blue" - AlphaTauri

Tsunoda stepped up to F1 at the start of the year after finishing third in Formula 2 last year, but has experienced an up-and-down first half-season in grand prix racing.

The Japanese driver crashed out of qualifying at Imola before spinning in the race when bound for points, and also had Saturday incidents in Azerbaijan and France.

Tsunoda acknowledged that he needed to "calm down" after his early crashes, and scored points in three of the last four races before the summer break, including his best finish to date of sixth in Hungary.

AlphaTauri F1 technical director Egginton felt that Tsunoda had been progressing "day after day" through his first season, and that to encounter moments of difficulty was nothing unusual.

"If you consider any first-time driver in F1 who's had any length of career, they have ups and downs," Egginton told Autosport.

"I can think back to my time in previous teams where at the start of the season with a young driver, there was a mixture of exuberance and bad luck. And before you know it, you are five races in and scratching your head and going 'what's gone on there?'.

"It's not unusual for me. It's frustrating and challenging, but it's not out of the blue.

"I think some of the added focus is on the fact that he had a good opening race. The car's competitive, and then the expectation goes up, but you're still on that same learning process.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"If you are in focus and towards the front when it happens all of a sudden the question marks and the questions seem to be a little bit more intense, but for me, I don't see anything out of the ordinary."

Tsunoda's arrival in F1 with Red Bull's junior team came after an accelerated rise through the junior motorsport ranks. The Japanese driver was racing in Formula 4 in 2018 before moving up the ladder every single year.

Egginton noted that while such a rapid progression to the pinnacle of motorsport was not unheard of, the complexity of modern-day F1 would have made Tsunoda's adaptation more of a challenge.

"Obviously he's not the first with [Felipe] Massa, [Kimi] Raikkonen, other people like this doing it," Egginton said.

"What is different now of course is the complexity of Formula 1. In terms of the driver work load, it is difficult to draw parallels to other instances.

"With the intensity of what you've got to pick up, what you've got to learn and also the rapid pace of development in F1 from an engineering and car development side, it just makes it more challenging.

"It wasn't so many years ago where you could have a bit of a rough FP1 and recover it in FP2. Now if you miss track time, you are struggling to come back at it.

"If you've got a younger driver in the car, it is even harder, because that track time has more value. There is so much going on, but [Yuki] is on the learning curve, it's a steep curve and he's doing a fantastic job."

shares
comments

Related video

F1 announces new overtaking award

Previous article

F1 announces new overtaking award

Next article

Schumacher: Points would be "amazing bonus" in F1 rookie season

Schumacher: Points would be "amazing bonus" in F1 rookie season
Load comments
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Plus

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021