Yuki Tsunoda was happy to score points on his AlphaTauri debut, but was also frustrated by “big mistakes” in Bahrain.
The Japanese racer made the step up to Formula 1 this season, and already after one race weekend it has been made clear why Honda see great potential in the 20-year-old.
And to score two points with P9 on his debut was a solid start, though the other “50%” of Tsunoda was frustrated by errors, such as a poor first lap which saw him lose multiple positions.
“I’m glad to get points, but I lost quite a lot of positions on the first lap,” he told reporters in the paddock.
“That was my big mistake and I had to recover from that, so I’m happy 50%, but still 50% my big mistakes and it was possible to go more forward in the points positions.
“The first points feel okay, but I think there is a lot of space to improve on this race next time at Imola.”
But surely Tsunoda took encouragement from his fightback which included a late pass on Lance Stroll for P9?
“The pace was good, the last three laps I was behind Stroll and I got in the dirty air, and I really struggled to adapt to that dirty air, and made quite a lot of mistakes” he explained.
“The last lap in the first corner, there was quite a gap, so I just sent it, glad that I passed him, and I’m happy for the first points.”
There was also an overtake on a star from Tsunoda’s childhood, Fernando Alonso.
“I had some strong overtakes during the race and, for me, overtaking Fernando was quite an emotional experience, he’s a Formula 1 superstar that I’ve grown up watching, so that was pretty exciting,” he told the AlphaTauri website.
But on the other side of the garage it was a terrible afternoon for Pierre Gasly who found his race ruined following contact with Daniel Ricciardo.
The Frenchman had hoped for far better after qualifying P5, but a broken front wing, floor damage and later a gearbox issue forced him to retire.
“Very disappointed right now because we had a very strong weekend since we arrived, and starting on P5 I was hoping for some good points,” he admitted to the media.
“And then it was pretty much over after the contact with Daniel.
“I don’t really know exactly what happened, I need to review the footage to know whether I braked too late or exactly what happened, but the race was pretty much over, I broke the front wing, I had floor damage, and was a minute behind so really disappointed.”