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Little pressure for Tsunoda despite all the attention surrounding home race

Little pressure for Tsunoda despite all the attention surrounding home race

5 October - 18:39 Last update: 22:45

Both AlphaTauri drivers want to post good results in the remaining races. For Pierre Gasly, it is the first time he has returned to Suzuka in two years. For teammate Yuki Tsunoda, it is his first-ever home race.

Gasly said in his preview in AlphaTauri's press release that there is a lot of potential in the AT03 and he thinks Suzuka is a great track. "Especially the first sector with all the quick corners and it’s definitely one of my top three favourite tracks." Besides, it is also a special feeling for the Frenchman to drive in Japan as a Honda driver. Especially now that ties with the Japanese marque have been strengthened again from the upcoming race. Gasly, therefore, looks back to a great period and experiences a lot of support from Japanese quarters as a result. "I was with Honda at the start of their latest period in F1, and even before then as I was racing with them for my season in Super Formula. I get a lot of motivating support from Japan and it was a real shame we were not able to race there for the past couple of years" Finally, the Frenchman looks back with satisfaction at his last qualifying session on Japanese soil where he then qualified ninth.

Home race

Tsunoda wants to forget the Singapore race quickly to shift focus to his first home race. "In one way, Japan is just another race, but in another, it is one I have been looking forward to ever since I started in Formula 1." Nevertheless, the Suzuka circuit is not unfamiliar territory. The Japanese driver has driven a lot at Suzuka in Formula 4, so does not travel completely without experience. Yet Tsunoda noticed it was completely different when he went to practice in the simulator recently. "Actually, because you have so much more downforce, I think you are on the throttle for more of the lap in a Formula 1 car than in Formula 4. The view of the track changes completely and it’s like a whole new track." That's why Tsunoda thinks past experience can come in handy now.

Little pressure

The AlphaTauri driver is therefore looking forward to racing in front of his own fans. "I know there will be a lot of interest from the fans for this race. I can’t imagine what it will be like, so it will be very different to every other race weekend, but I am looking forward to enjoying a new experience." With all the attention, Tsunoda is not worried that there is a lot of pressure on his shoulders and rather feels that all this support will give extra energy in a positive way. "Many of my friends and family will be coming to Suzuka and I know that even those for whom I couldn’t get passes, have bought tickets. And a very important final point, I get to eat Japanese food for a whole week!"

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