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Tsunoda looks forward to Paul Ricard: 'I won't have to be so careful there'

Tsunoda looks forward to Paul Ricard: 'I won't have to be so careful there'

15-06-2021 13:15 Last update: 17:07


The Baku Grand Prix was a great success for the whole AlphaTauri team. Not only did Pierre Gasly finish on the podium, but Yuki Tsunoda also finished in the top ten and earned solid points. It was the Japanese driver's best weekend so far.

It was the boost Tsunoda needed. The young Japanese driver had a rather difficult start of his F1 career and was more often dissatisfied on the radio than able to put points behind his name. In the AlphaTauri press release the rookie looks back on the weekend in Azerbaijan positively.

"Before Baku I had a couple of difficult race weekends behind me, so the result there was a good feeling. Compared to previous races my preparation was much better than normal and right from FP1 I felt ready. The week before Baku I left for Italy, where I spent most of the time in the factory studying our approach for the race week and looking at previous problems with the car. We decided to take a slightly different approach to the race week and have more conversations, and that worked well. In qualifying I reached Q3 for the first time and I think we laid a new foundation for how we should approach a race. The overall result was okay, I'm quite satisfied, even if it was a shame that I lost a place after the restart."

Tsunoda in Italy

So since Baku, he has been living in Italy on a daily basis. Tsunoda says he has adapted to the situation by now. "The weather and food there are good, and I can spend more time at the factory talking to the engineers. The move to Italy was the right decision and something very positive for me, although it does mean I have to go back to Britain for simulator sessions."

Paul Ricard

The start of a triple header is just around the corner. This is something new for the young Japanese, but the circuit where the triple-header starts is already familiar territory for him. "I have driven twice before in Formula 3 at Paul Ricard, which means it is a different situation after Portugal, Monaco and Baku, which were all completely new to me, and that will be a positive factor. Ricard will be different in a Formula One car and Sector 3 will be decisive for the round, with tyre repair perhaps a key factor." He also knows that, unlike past street circuits, he will have to be a little less careful and have a little more run-out alongside the track.

"It's a pretty flat track and, unlike the previous two races, there are no walls. There are big run-off lanes, so I don't have to be so careful when I'm looking for the limit. The setup will also be very different from Azerbaijan, where our car worked very well, because there are no low-speed rectangular corners. It's a very different circuit in all respects. I'm looking forward to it and hope I can finish in the points again." Tsunoda, like Gasly, will try to work with AlphaTauri to continue his current form in the South of France.

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