For Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda it was so nearly a dream start to this weekends historic Monaco Grand Prix, only for rookie Yuki Tsunoda to make a common Monaco error and collide with the famous walls.
Rookie Tsunoda making his first appearance at Monaco in a Formula One car started Thursday well, ending free practice one in ninth, an impressive showing from the rookie. However a meeting with the wall early on in free practice two ended Tsunoda’s day, leaving him with much time to catch up with on Saturday.
On the other side of the garage it was a perfect opening day to the Monaco Grand Prix for Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman looked fast and more importantly comfortable during both practice sessions, ending them in fourth and then seventh respectively.
Tsunoda’s collision is an unfortunate outcome for the team, but AlphaTauri Chief Race Engineer Jonathan Eddolls has faith in the young rookie, as the team looks to give him the best chance possible on Saturday.
“The track started very green for free practice one, which mea nt there was very low grip. With the compound allocation this weekend we had a hard tyre to essentially use up for our first stint, which allowed us to get a feeling for the track. We then moved to the Softs for more of a performance run, which focussed on giving the drivers as many laps as possible.”
“FP1 went very well, with both drivers building up their confidence lap by lap and putting in a good performance, whilst helping us understand the set-up of the car, which is very difficult here in Monaco. We tried to carry this momentum into FP2 and on Pierre’s side he performed well and the pace looked good.”
“Unfortunately, Yuki just clipped the rear in the last sector and this sadly damaged the suspension. Due to the time it takes to fix this part of the car, that was the end of the day for him. It puts him a bit on the back foot ahead of Qualifying, but he’s still got another session to go on Saturday morning, so we’ll give him the best possible preparation ahead of Qualifying.”