Yuki Tsunoda was pleased to be able to bring home two points for his Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team in the United States Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Japanese driver putting in a quietly impressive performance on his first visit to the Circuit of the Americas.
Tsunoda made up two places on the opening lap to run eighth, and although he dropped behind Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Valtteri Bottas, he was able to maintain his position within the top ten with relative ease.
The Japanese racer was one of only two drivers to start the race on the soft tyre after making it through to Q3 on Saturday on that tyre, and he made good use of them in order to keep him in a good position until he made the switch to the harder compounds for the final two stints.
“It’s been a good day, I’ve managed to score some important points for the team in the Championship, so I’m really happy with that,” said Tsunoda. “It was really tough out there as it was so hot!
“It wasn’t easy starting on the soft tyre, as I had a different strategy to everyone around me, but it meant that I had the advantage on the opening lap, and I tried to make the most of it. The pace today was quite good, so I’m pleased to be coming away with points.”
“It’s very frustrating because we know every point counts” – Pierre Gasly
Team-mate Pierre Gasly was forced to retire following an issue with his rear suspension, with the Frenchman ending his day having run inside the top ten in the early laps.
Having started eighth, Gasly dropped to tenth on the opening lap but was able to repass Bottas to run ninth only to drop out of the points and into retirement after his issue, much to the disgruntlement of the Frenchman.
“Unfortunately, we had a suspension problem today, that forced us to retire the car,” said Gasly. “At the moment we don’t know the real cause, so we’ll have to go away and investigate this.
“It’s very frustrating because we know every point counts at this stage in our midfield battle. It would’ve been really good to go until the end of this race, as the atmosphere has been incredible this weekend, right from the very beginning, so it’s a shame to not be seeing the chequered flag.”