Nyck de Vries is still yet to score points this season for Scuderia AlphaTauri after yet another disappointing race at the Canadian Grand Prix, but the Dutchman is looking to improve and become more competitive over the next few race weekends.
De Vries qualified poorly on the Saturday and ended up starting seventeenth, he struggled to make up much ground in the race either with the biggest moment of his race being an incident with Kevin Magnussen, which saw them both leave the track at Turn Three.
It all began when the AlphaTauri driver initiated a manoeuvre on the Haas car as they approached Turn One. Positioned on the inside, he seemed to force Magnussen towards the outer limits of the track, causing the Dane to slightly touch the grass as they entered Turn Two. Consequently, Magnussen found himself on the inside of De Vries as they battled further into sector one.
Their incident came when their wheels collided, resulting in Magnussen’s front wing end-plate picking up some damage. George Russell capitalized on the situation and seized the opportunity to overtake them, moving into twelfth place. However, the action didn’t stop there. De Vries decided to attempt a switchback move, aligning himself next to the Haas car as they headed towards Turn Three.
Being positioned on the inside line once again, the Dutchman pushed too hard on the brakes in his attempt to gain the upper hand. This caused him to lock up the tires, sending him straight ahead onto the escape road. With no other choice, Magnussen followed suit but cleverly placed his car to block the escape road’s exit, preventing De Vries from rejoining the track ahead of him.
“Until the fight with Kevin (Magnussen), it was a decent race. We fought each other hard but I think we both missed our braking point and with the low grip, I locked up and went straight. Compared to previous race weekends, we weren’t quite quick and competitive enough, so we need to see why we were lacking performance to understand how to improve.
“Equally, it was a DRS train and wherever you were, you maintained your position. Points were going to be a challenge today, but qualifying further up the grid certainly would’ve made a better result possible.”
Yuki Tsunoda Admits He Was, “Struggling With Pace”
Yuki Tsunoda admitted that he was struggling with pace following the poor timing of the virtual safety car, which saw him miss out on a free stop after adopting an aggressive strategy.
Tsunoda has scored all of the Italian team’s points this season and has been performing really well, considering the pace of the car. The Japanese driver has finished tenth on two occasions this season but has had a number of good performances outside the points, including a twelfth-place finish in Spain, but he was lowered from a points’ finish due to a penalty, which he saw as unfair.
Despite struggling with pace and strategy, Tsunoda still managed to outperform De Vries in Canada, but the 23-year-old is hoping that he can have a better weekend in Austria, starting with a better qualifying performance than the one he produced in Montreal.
“Our aggressive strategy worked until the virtual safety car and our pace was really good. The timing didn’t work in our favour and we couldn’t gain as much as we wanted to, struggling with pace after that. Our car performance was ok, though not as good as Barcelona, which meant we weren’t able to gain as many positions as we wanted.
“It’s not the position I wanted to finish, but I had some good overtakes, so it was good learning. Looking ahead, I need a clean race weekend with a higher qualifying position, to maximise our chances of scoring points in the future.”