Yuki Tsunoda ended the Spanish Grand Prix with a tenth-place finish on Sunday, with the Japanese race pleased to break into the points on a weekend where his Scuderia AlphaTauri team were not at their best.
Tsunoda had a quietly impressive weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, out-qualifying team-mate Pierre Gasly on Saturday and outracing the Frenchman on Sunday despite neither driver feeling particularly comfortable driving the AT-03. He charged through to take tenth ahead of Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team’s Sebastian Vettel.
Despite the top ten finish, Tsunoda says there is still a lot of work for AlphaTauri to do if they want to fight higher up the midfield after struggling for performance all through the weekend in Spain.
“That was a super tough race, it was so hot in the car today and then we were in a constant battle to make it into the points, so the pressure was there,” said Tsunoda.
“I’m quite happy with my performance today and where we finished in the race, we haven’t been comfortable in the car the whole weekend, so to be fighting for points was a good step forward.
“However, I think we’ve still got a lot of work to do to be able to be higher up the midfield.”
“At the end of the day there wasn’t much we could do” – Pierre Gasly
Team-mate Gasly was unable to fight for points in Spain, with the Frenchman struggling with a damaged car for much of the race that left him down in thirteenth at the chequered flag.
Gasly touched another car early on, with the damage leaving him with a loss of downforce and with a lot of sliding, with his day also seeing him pitch Lance Stroll into a spin, an incident that gave him a five-second time penalty and two penalty points towards his Superlicence.
“I’m extremely disappointed with today, it’s very frustrating,” said Gasly. “I had a small touch early on that damaged the car and from then on, I had no pace, we were losing downforce and sliding everywhere.
“I take responsibility for the accident with Stroll, I was pushing it to the limit, so I want to apologise to Lance for that.
“We tried everything we could from then on, but at the end of the day there wasn’t much we could do.”