Tsunoda had higher expectations for debut season

Date published: May 8 2021 - Michelle Foster

Yuki Tsunoda press conference

Yuki Tsunoda concedes that his pre-season expectations were higher than the results he has achieved so far in his fledgling F1 career.

The AlphaTauri rookie was declared a revelation after pre-season testing, where he turned heads on the final day as he finished second fastest overall.

The hype carried over into Bahrain where he scored two points on debut, with F1 sporting boss Ross Brawn saying he is probably the “best” rookie F1 has had in years.

And then it all went wrong.

The Japanese driver crashed at the start of qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and then had several offs during the race, finishing P12.

He dropped a further three places in Portugal, bringing his AT02 home in P15, complaining that he had “no pace at all”.

But while Tsunoda isn’t happy with his results, he acknowledges he is learning lessons that will benefit him in the future.

“The results that I did in those three races is not what I wanted to have,” he said, as quoted by RacingNews365.com.

“My expectation was more high at the beginning of the season.”

“If I look at it in a positive way,” he added, “I did huge mistakes in Portugal and in Imola already in the beginning of the year so it’s about taking the positives and learn from those things.

“I think for my career I think I’m going well. I just have to learn and do it better in the future. Currently I’m enjoying that situation.”

Tsunoda is P13 in the Drivers’ standings with two points.

Yuki Tsunoda leaves pits

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Racing in Spain this weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya, Tsunoda is at a circuit that he knows well from racing’s junior series.

He is hoping that track knowledge will help him as the weekend progresses as he can focus more on learning about the car than the track.

“I’ll just try to maximise that opportunity,” he said.

“I learned a lot about the car and I’m still not feeling like I’m controlling the car enough. Definitely, this is a learning curve and hopefully, those experiences will be really useful in Barcelona.”

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