Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Honda have definitely made gains with their qualifying performance – Tsunoda

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In the round-up: Yuki Tsunoda said after today’s test that he felt Honda had made performance gains this year, especially in terms of qualifying pace.

What they say

AlphaTauri rookie Tsunoda, who has been testing during the off season using the 2018 Honda-powered Toro Rosso as well as the 2020 AlphaTauri, said he could feel the manufacturer had made significant gains.

I think Honda made quite a good step compared to previous engines from previous years. Especially the performance side for the qualifying lap. I feel gains, especially in the top speed so that’s positive.

But also on the other side, there’s problems with the off-throttle shifting and also a bit of issues with consistency. But definitely gave us gains for the power so for Honda a really good, positive day.

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Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

With the introduction of sprint races looking increasingly inevitable, Joe Fillmore speaks up in favour of the idea:

I think all the criticism of these sprint races is valid for the many reasons that have been mentioned.

However, I don’t think this change is as profound to the integrity of the sport as many people are making it out to be. They would essentially be increasing the grand prix by 50% and dividing it in two days, 33% on Saturday and the remaining 64% on Sunday. There will be no reverse-grid gimmicks and a race over two days might throw in other variables like weather that teams have to contend with.

I doubt there would be as much backlash if the race was increased by 50% on Sunday, especially considering the total kilometres of a race has been changed several times in the past.

I am not sold on the idea but have no problem with it being tested.
Joe Fillmore

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On this day in F1

  • Born on this day in 1989: Robert Wickens, who made a one-off F1 appearance in practice for the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He later made a successful move to IndyCars, but suffered paralysis in a crash at Pocono in 2018

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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  • 7 comments on “Honda have definitely made gains with their qualifying performance – Tsunoda”

    1. Most interesting pre-season in a while. Rb seems to be up there with merc.
      Even though many cars look identical from head on many have diverged significantly on some areas, except amr and merc who seem to have thought of the exact same rear floor solution. Quite more noticeable the missing diffuser area. I like the look of a big diffuser but it is not a big deal. I would not be surprised to learn that RB pushed for the smaller diffuser like we had pre 17 and merc pushed for the cut floor since they have seemingly come very ready for it.
      Even though many items are under token restrictions it still feels some teams have made more changes now than from 18 to 19.
      Tyres look very different, sidewall is more bulgy, also the tyre is rounder at the top. The tyre certainly looks stiffer, much less visible distortion. The old tyre running high psi looked like a balloon. Never liked the look of the Pirelli, the moulding plus this new construction make the tyre imo look proper f1, don’t care if it is slower.
      I think we saw more proper sliding and less uncatchable skating. Had fun watching the cars as the drivers seem to have been pushing, if only the camera work didn’t ruin every “hot” lap by zooming in. I don’t want to read petronas again and again and again.

      1. Good comment @peartree.
        We see too often too much emotion and too little insight in the comment section.

        PS the snippet of Tsunoda’s comment was also very impressive. He seems to have a detailed feeling of the car/PU and is willing to share it.

      2. Rb seems to be up there with merc.

        you obviously looked at a totally different day 1 then i did.
        Mercedes was not really “up there” i noticed.
        But good to see RBR on top for now.

    2. I believe Honda has made significant changes to their engine in order for Red Bull to have a future development window, so good to see reliability is there straight away, and with a step up in power as well it’s all very encouraging.

      But almost feel bad for them to again quit just as it seems to be getting good..

    3. Good COTD. I hadn’t thought of it like that, but actually you are right that it is, in a sense, increasing the length of the Grand Prix. But if points are awarded, it would no longer be doing that, it would become a second race, which is my main objection to the idea. It seems that it will become either an extension of the Grand Prix (as you mentioned), in which case pole position records should go to the Friday session, or it could be an extension of qualifying, in which pole position records should go to the Saturday session. Both of these ideas are acceptable to me (although ultimately pointless so I still hope they are scrapped after 2021), and both decisions require no points to be awarded for it to work.

    4. Re Vettel: Nice helmet design.

    5. Also on this day in F1: The 2011 edition of the Bahrain GP was supposed to take place before getting cancelled for political unrest.

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