AlphaTauri: Yuki Tsunoda has learned to tone down ’emotional’ radio outbursts

Henry Valantine
Yuki Tsunoda looking out. Bahrain, March 2022.

Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, looking out at the Bahrain test. March 2022.

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has praised Yuki Tsunoda for controlling his emotions over team radio, as part of his overall improvement in Formula 1.

Tsunoda became famed upon his arrival into the top tier for his foul-mouthed radio outbursts, describing a situation on track as a “f***ing traffic paradise” on his debut weekend in Bahrain, alongside plenty of other expletive-filled messages as the season wore on.

He struggled to match team-mate Pierre Gasly over the course of his first season in Formula 1, but was able to reel in the Frenchman to have a more even battle in 2022 after being given a new deal to stay in the sport.

Tost, who is a believer in a driver needing three years to show their true capabilities in a Formula 1 car, has had kind words to say about how his driver has improved in his time so far in F1, despite AlphaTauri plummeting in the Constructors’ standings with a less competitive 2022 overall.

“He has developed quite well,” Tost told GPFans. “It was not an easy season for him because it was always dependent on car performance.

“But I must say he improved a lot, especially in the last few races. He was also quite strong in qualifying.

“He learned. There were hardly any bad communications or emotional communications on the radio.”

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Tsunoda will have a new team-mate in Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri in 2023, who comes in as a one-time race starter in Formula 1 but a multiple champion in other disciplines, having taken top honours in Formula E and Formula 2 in recent seasons.

But now with two years of Formula 1 experience under his belt, the AlphaTauri team principal thinks Tsunoda has made gains over multiple areas in the way he goes about his racing – though he admits there is still a way to go before he becomes a better all-rounder in the sport.

“He improved the technical understanding from the mechanical side, from the aerodynamic side, he also improved a little bit the tyre management in the race,” Tost added.

“Then he simply needs to be more concentrated on Formula 1, to be better prepared for everything. It’s all the different areas, everything a little bit more.

“It’s not that Yuki doesn’t have one big deficiency. No. He is quite good, he is there, but he has to improve in all the different aspects to achieve at the next level.”