Formula 1

Yuki Tsunoda: “I am looking forward to racing there in front of my home fans.”

4 Mins read
Credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

After falling to ninth in the Constructors’ Championship after last weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix, Scuderia AlphaTauri will be looking to take the battle to their rivals in the first FIA Formula 1 World Championship Japanese Grand Prix since the 2019 season.

Yuki Tsunoda had a difficult weekend at the Marina Bay Circuit, despite qualifying in a healthy tenth position; he was unable to convert in the main event on Sunday. The Japanese driver failed to reach the chequered flag after crashing out and pulling out the Safety Car on lap thirty-five, after he hit the barriers at Turn Ten.

Tsunoda will be hoping for a more fortunate Sunday as he takes part in his first home Grand Prix, after its absence from the Formula 1 calendar for two years.

“My first visit to Singapore did not go the way I had hoped. We had not looked great on Friday but recovered enough to get to Q3 which I was pleased about. In the race, the conditions were very tricky, and I think we switched to the slick tyres a bit too early.

But having said that, it was my mistake; I misjudged my braking point and crashed. Now, I’m going to put that behind me and focus on this coming weekend for my very first home race in Formula 1.

Tsunoda discussed the pressures of racing in a home Grand Prix, and he is hoping that he can adapt to the track with the new generation of F1 cars and impress the fans that are turning out over the weekend.

In one way, Japan is just another race, but in another it is one I have been looking forward to ever since I started in Formula 1. I used to drive at Suzuka quite a lot in Formula 4, so I have some experience of it, but when I recently drove the track in the simulator, in a Formula 1 car, it’s a very different world. Actually, because you have so much more downforce, I think you are on the throttle for more of the lap in a Formula 1 car than in Formula 4.

The view of the track changes completely and it’s like a whole new track. My experience there from the past will still be useful and I remember how to drive Suzuka. I am looking forward to racing there in front of my home fans very much. 

I know there will be a lot of interest from the fans for this race. I can’t imagine what it will be like, so it will be very different to every other race weekend, but I am looking forward to enjoying a new experience.

I am happy about the attention; I am the sort of person that does not feel much pressure from other people anyway. When I’m driving, I only pay attention to myself and all that support will give me extra energy on every lap in a positive way, and that will be helpful and nice.

Many of my friends and family will be coming to Suzuka and I know that even those for whom I couldn’t get passes, have bought tickets. And a very important final point, I get to eat Japanese food for a whole week!”

Pierre Gasly Says the Whole Team Needs “to do a better job”

Credit: Peter Fox/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Pierre Gasly finished tenth at the Singapore Grand Prix, but he could have finished much higher if it wasn’t for a poor strategy call.

The Frenchman was doing well to match the pace of Lando Norris in the opening stage of the Grand Prix, but fell behind Daniel Ricciardo, Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel after being one of the first to pit for the Medium compound tyre from the Intermediate.

“We missed an opportunity to pick up good points, especially in terms of the Constructors’ in Singapore and we have to take a close look at how we ran the weekend. Honestly, we did not look too competitive in the dry on Friday, but Qualifying was fun and set us up for a good opportunity in the race.

It looked as though we were going to make the most of it as I was running in a good position ahead of the Aston Martins, but we pitted too early for slicks and there was no coming back from that. We need to do a better job as there is potential for some good results before the end of the year, starting right away in Japan, which I am so pleased to be visiting again after a two-year break.

Gasly explained how the Japanese Grand Prix is one of his favourites of the calendar and he is hoping that he can score good points for the team.

Suzuka is an incredible track, especially the first sector with all the quick corners and it’s definitely one of my top three favourite tracks. And going there as a Honda driver, it’s always a special feeling to be able to race in Japan in front of our fans. I was with Honda at the start of their latest period in F1, and even before then as I was racing with them for my season in Super Formula.

I get a lot of motivating support from Japan, and it was a real shame we were not able to race there for the past couple of years, especially as I love the culture, I love Tokyo and the food too, even if Yuki is the expert on that topic! So, I am very happy that we are going to race there again.

Last time we were there, back in 2019, I had a good weekend; qualifying ninth and finishing seventh, so let’s see what we can do this time.”

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