Tsunoda to ‘push hard from the start’

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Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda

Looking ahead to his first Formula 1 race weekend, Yuki Tsunoda has no plans to be cautious or hold anything back.

Big things are expected of Tsunoda in his first season on the grid after he was chosen to replace Daniil Kvyat at AlphaTauri.

Expectations only got bigger after pre-season testing in which he set the second-fastest time of the three days, pushing Max Verstappen hard.

Despite the pressure on his young shoulders though, he has no intention of playing things safe in Bahrain.

“My approach to the season will be to push hard right from the start, building on my experience to find the limits of the car and I hope that, by the mid-season, it all comes together with some good results,” he said in the AlphaTauri preview of the season opener.

“My team-mate is very fast and experienced, and I plan to learn as much as possible from him.

“I am the first Japanese driver to race in Formula 1 since 2014 and I know a lot is expected of me from the Japanese fans, so I will be trying my best to make them happy. I think I’m ready!”

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Even for a rookie, Tsunoda is inexperienced heading into F1 after spending just one season in Formula 2 and one in Formula 3 before that.

Given this, there are some fears that the promotion could come too soon for him regardless of his talent.

However, after working hard during the off-season and driving multiple F1 cars, he feels that he is prepared for the challenge that awaits him.

“During the off-season, I was able to drive some older F1 cars and then we had the three-day test at Sakhir, so with all of that combined I feel I am well prepared,” he added.

“There has been a lot to learn, in terms of the power of the car, how effective the brakes are and, especially unique to Formula 1, how many controls and switches there are on the steering wheel.

“During the test, I worked on understanding how the car reacts to all the changes that can be made to it, I spent a lot of time studying the data and I feel I have made some progress.”

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