Tsunoda moving to Italy after erratic start

Date published: May 30 2021

Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri

Red Bull driver programme boss Helmut Marko has sent Yuki Tsunoda to live in Italy to work more closely with Franz Tost.

Tsunoda came into his rookie campaign with a great deal of hype, having set the second fastest time of 2021 pre-season testing in Bahrain.

The season-opener at the same venue was then a strong debut showing as Tsunoda crossed the line P9, but from there it has been all downhill for his AlphaTauri career.

A series of mistakes and weak performances have left Marko disappointed with his protege, and so to try and change Tsunoda’s career trajectory he will move to Italy so he can spend more time under the tutelage of AlphaTauri team boss Tost.

Yuki Tsunoda DNF

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“The start of the season was really great, then unfortunately the mistakes started,” Marko told Motorsport-total.com.

“Trying to get past [Lewis] Hamilton on the wet track at Imola was a daring manoeuvre and, of course, it went wrong by compromising the possibility of finishing the race in the points.

“In qualifying, again on that weekend, he made a mistake which I would call brazen.

“In Monaco, we stressed how important it was not to make mistakes in free practice, but in the second session he crashed at what I call the curve…[pool exit] and that accident took away his progression to do better in qualifying.

“Now we have decided he will move to Italy. Yuki needs to focus and he will learn Formula 1 is the toughest championship in motorsport and as a result, his work and approach must be just as professional.

“Franz will supervise and organise his daily life. Waiting for Yuki there is a lot of training, karting and a lot of work alongside the team.

“After the mistakes he has made, I believe his self-confidence has also suffered and we hope the more controlled life that awaits him in Italy can put him on the right track. We know the potential is there but we also need the right growth.”

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