Helmut Marko has labelled Yuki Tsunoda as the Red Bull stable’s “problem child” and has hired a psychologist to help him with his temper.
The young Japanese driver’s expletive-ridden radio outbursts became something of a feature of his rookie season in Formula 1, as he struggled to match team-mate Pierre Gasly at AlphaTauri.
Tsunoda’s performances have improved in 2022 compared to Gasly, having scored 11 points compared to 16 for his team-mate – albeit in a car which is less competitive compared to those around them.
But he is unlikely to have been popular in the AlphaTauri garage at Silverstone, though, after colliding with Gasly while trying to pass him at Village Corner, for which he subsequently apologised.
Marko was discussing driver mentality on Servus TV in Germany, and referenced the example of Max Verstappen’s level-headedness while in the cockpit, and that Tsunoda’s ire had been limiting his speed, so the team decided to intervene.
AlphaTauri need to work on their gift giving… #F1
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“We have organised a kind of psychologist to work with him, because he continued to rant in the corners, so that inhibits performance,” Marko said, as translated by Motorsport.com.
“We should keep our emotions in check. Thank God Max is calm, our problem child in this respect, not only in this respect, is Tsunoda. He explodes on the radio, you wouldn’t believe it.”
Marko then expanded on his thoughts surrounding drivers’ radio communications with their engineers, and the Red Bull motorsport advisor argued that the instructions given are “partly like in driving school”, with drivers following instructions given to them on the pit wall.
He suggested that drivers should not receive this kind of information during race conditions, as it aids them and takes away an element of independence while driving.
“You could limit it, that it only goes in one direction, that you only leave the driver on, but he doesn’t get any technical support,” Marko said, as quoted by Motorsport-Total.
“So [Lewis] Hamilton, who has his hand on the radio, he then tells him: ‘You lose five metres in Turn 10 on braking and in Turn 3 the other driver goes in a bit slower but comes out better.’ So a driver gets all this information and that makes it easier for him.”