Yuki Tsunoda rates himself for his first half of the F1 2022 season

Sam Cooper

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda walks with purpose through the paddock. Spain, February 2022.

AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda has given his thoughts on his 2022 Formula 1 season so far which has seen him start strong but fade away.

The Japanese driver has proven himself to be more comfortable in the car this season having struggled at times during his rookie campaign in areas such as attitude and fitness.

But a move to Italy has helped him find his feet in Formula 1 and his performances have begun to show it, even if the AlphaTauri car has proved to not be as quick as it once was.

Tsunoda is 16th in the Drivers’ Standings, five points behind team-mate Pierre Gasly, and only 11 points behind Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in 11th.


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The 22-year-old highlighted problems in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan as possible explanations behind the deficit.

“I’m quite happy with what I’ve done, just extracting performance out of the car,” Tsunoda said, as reported by Motorsport.com.

“I had a lot of reliability issues, as a team I would say. In Saudi Arabia, for example, I didn’t drive FP3, qualifying or the race.

“Lots of things happened, but overall, I’m still happy with what I’ve done,” said Tsunoda.

“I think to me and Pierre, there’s not much difference in terms of points. Considering what I lost in Saudi and Azerbaijan, it should be aligned. Yeah, I’m happy.”

Tsunoda ranked his season as a 7/10 but said he had used the experience that comes from his second season to improve his performances.

“I think I’ve been able to use the experience from last year,” he said. “I think knowing what I have to do, how I should approach every race weekend, is definitely an advantage compared to last year.

“At the same time, I experienced pretty much everything last year, the worst things, but was able to come back from there. So yeah. Most situations, I’ve been able to keep calm, not like last year. That’s the main difference.

“Every race week, I know what I have to do. That’s the main target, the main thing. Last year I didn’t really know what to do, I just thought I had to perform well. But how? To perform well in FP1, every single session, it’s like a different kind of testing. Those things I was not thinking about.”

A promising start to a disappointing finish, how Yuki Tsunoda’s 2022 season has unfolded so far

Tsunoda arrived into the new season with a point to prove. He finished 2021 in P14, 78 points behind Gasly, but became more well known for his on-track outbursts than he did for his performances.

He was labelled a “problem child” but with a Red Bull-hired psychologist helping him, he has put those kind of expletive-laden outbursts behind him for this season.

The first race of the campaign remains his second best performance so far as he improved on a qualifying spot of 16th to finish in 8th. That joy was short lived though as a round later he retired in Saudi Arabia before the race had even started due to a suspected drivetrain issue.

It was another no-points finish in Australia with Tsunoda crossing the line in 15th. He bounced back at Imola with a P7 – which is his highest points score of the season so far.

In Miami, he made it to Q3 only to slip outside of the top 10 for the actual race before finishing 12th then in the following race in Spain, he scored what would proved to be his last point before the summer break with a P10.

From then, it has been a pretty dismal run for the AlphaTarui man. He’s suffered two retirements (one in Canada and the other in France), a P17 in Monaco and Austria and a P14 at Silverstone.

To cap off the poor run, he finished 19th in Hungary, the last of the classified runners.

While Gasly’s similar struggles in the car prove Tsunoda’s form is not entirely human error, there is work to be done for the Japanese man going into the second half of the season.