Tsunoda now a reprimand away from 10-place grid drop

Jamie Woodhouse
Yuki Tsunoda drives the AlphaTauri in practice. Monaco, May 2022.

Yuki Tsunoda picked up his fourth reprimand of the 2022 season after impeding Kevin Magnussen in Monaco practice.

Race Control announced during FP2 at the Monaco Grand Prix that an alleged impeding incident, involving AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda and Haas’ Magnussen, would be investigated after the session.

Magnussen had gone straight across at the Nouvelle chicane having come across Tsunoda ahead.

The stewards have now determined Tsunoda had indeed impeded Magnussen, issuing a reprimand, his fourth of the 2022 season, claiming this uncommon punishment for a practice session was warranted due to the severity of Tsunoda’s error.

This is now becoming a serious issue for the Japanese racer, as one more reprimand will mean a 10-place grid penalty.

Yuki Tsunoda wearing sunglasses. Melbourne, April 2022.

“The stewards heard from the driver of Car 22 (Yuki Tsunoda), the driver of Car 20 (Kevin Magnussen) and team representatives and examined video and radio evidence,” read the incident report.

“It was clear the driver of Car 22 was given ample and multiple warnings of the approach of Car 20, yet still chose to stay on the racing line approaching Turn 10, forcing Car 20 to take evading action by having to drive through the chicane.

“Although it is not common to impose penalties for impeding during free practice sessions, this incident was sufficiently serious to warrant the penalty imposed.”

 

It was a positive Friday in Monaco for the AlphaTauri team, Tsunoda finishing FP2 in P10, while team-mate Pierre Gasly secured P7, following on from P6 in the opening practice session.

For Tsunoda, the crashes of his rookie season have dried up at the start of 2022 and his overall pace has improved, although awareness on the track evidently continues to be a sticking point.

AlphaTauri go into the Monaco Grand Prix P7 in the Constructors’ Championship with 17 points scored, 11 of those scored by Tsunoda.