Tsunoda ‘lost confidence’ in his car in Monaco

Henry Valantine
Yuki Tsunoda

Yuki Tsunoda admits he lost confidence in his car after his shunt in practice in Monaco, which subsequently left him lagging behind in qualifying.

After scraping the barrier in FP2, the Japanese rookie drew the ire of Helmut Marko after he was told “a thousand times” about keeping his AlphaTauri out of the walls, in order for him to get to grips with the Monaco circuit on what was his first experience of driving around the track.

With Tsunoda qualifying well behind his team-mate Pierre Gasly, with the Frenchman lining up P6 after the Japanese driver had been knocked out in Q1, he admitted his confidence took a knock after his crash in practice.

When asked about his qualifying form, he spoke about how much of his pace deficit to Gasly was Monaco-specific or a wider issue he needs to address over the course of one lap.

“It’s quite 50-50,” he told Formula1.com. “Definitely there was my side as well – the main issue was I lost quite a lot of laps in FP2 .

“I lost a little bit of confidence there compared to the other cars, and in qualifying especially you need confidence to ‘send it’ in the car.

“That was my fault, it was my issue for myself as well, but the other side [is] to develop the car and the car set-up, which was not spot on.

“I need to put it all together for the future, I think.”

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Both AlphaTauri drivers finished where they started in the race, meaning Tsunoda was 10 places behind his team-mate on the road at the weekend.

The youngster revealed he and his team had decided to try and run a different strategy to try and work his way past the cars in front, but that gamble did not pay off for him and he could not make up the ground required to earn a points finish.

“It’s been a tough week, especially in the race,” Tsunoda added. “[After] the moment we decided strategy for this race, prime or soft, overall it didn’t work well.

“But I fully agreed with what we decided because we needed something a bit different compared to other cars to get good points.

“We needed to gamble a little bit, but this gamble didn’t work well. I was sitting behind a car the whole way.

“The pace was okay, but the main issue this week overall was qualifying performance. Hopefully this qualifying performance issue is will be solved in the future, to have a better result.”

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