Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, Bahrain International Circuit, 2021

Tsunoda puzzled as he and Gasly give “opposite feedback” on car

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In the round-up: Yuki Tsunoda says he and his team mate approach the AlphaTauri car in very different ways, making it hard for the rookie to identify where he can improve.

In brief

Tsunoda baffled by difference to Gasly in Portimao

Tsunoda showed strong pace in his debut F1 weekend, scoring points in Bahrain, but struggled at Imola and Algarve. He said he found it hard to explain the pace gap between himself and Pierre Gasly and that he might have to adjust his own set up to be more like his team mate’s, in order to gain the benefit of Gasly’s more experienced feedback.

“For me, it’s about adapting,” he said after finishing half a minute behind Gasly in Portugal. “Compared to, even my team mate, when I compare [the cars] the pace looks completely different.

“So it’s really weird, to be honest, I don’t know what’s happened. I’ll talk to my engineer and try to make the car more like [Pierre’s] but it’s not even similar. And we always have opposite feedback from the car, so we’ll just have to analyse it, what’s happened there.”

Alonso missing home fans as Spanish Grand Prix

The Spanish Grand Prix will run mostly behind closed doors again this weekend, with only a small number of spectators allowed into Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya on race day. Fernando Alonso said he would feel the absence of fans at his first home grand prix for three years.

“It’s a real shame to be racing here with no fans in the grandstands,” said the Alpine driver. “Formula 1 with fans is very special, but even more so when it’s your home fans.

“I remember how supportive and passionate the Spanish fans have been in the past, so we will miss this over the weekend. You race to feel the emotion from the support of your fans.

“Hopefully the fans can return to races soon but in the meantime, we can put on a good show for them watching at home.”

Max Mosley’s F1 career documented in new film

Mosley It's Complicated poster
Mosley film will appear in July
Former FIA president Max Mosley’s life story has been made into a new documentary ‘Mosley: It’s Complicated’.

The film covers his life from early upbringing, through to being a racing driver and becoming FIA president, including key events from F1 history such as the deaths of Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna and McLaren’s 2007 ‘Spygate’ scandal.

The film will appear in UK cinemas on 9th July, and will later appear on DVD with digital downloads available from 19th July.

Energy management key to passing in Formula E on full Monaco layout

Mahindra driver Alex Lynn, who scored his first podium at Formula E’s second Valencia race last month, said afterwards that the energy management challenge in Formula E isn’t always visible, in terms of how much work goes into preparing for an event.

“It’s very tough,” he said. “We practice that a lot in the simulator, we practice being very efficient and being very clinical. And I think the world only sees 45 minutes on a Saturday or Sunday on the sofa but it’s hours and hours of practice to perfect what we think will be the race.

“At the last few laps, that’s where it becomes even more critical because obviously looking at energy divided by laps, the less laps you have that percentage becomes much bigger. So from that side, you’re always trying to save. You only get a couple of chances to make the move but when you do it, it has to stick. So that’s always the cat and mouse of Formula E.”

W Series to continue with Hankook tyres in delayed second season

W Series’ first, six-event season ran in 2019 but the 2020 follow-up was wholly suspended as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Now due to start testing later this month, at Anglesey, the all-female junior championship has faced a series of setbacks as it moves to be an F1 support series this year, but has managed to retain its tyre partner, Hankook.

“W Series’ inaugural season was a great success and Hankook played a big part in that, so today’s news that one of our founding partners is continuing to support our mission is fantastic,” said W Series CEO Catherine Bond-Muir. “Despite the enforced postponement of our second season, the momentum behind W Series remains strong and, with the support of all of our partners and Formula 1, 2021 is set to be a very exciting year for us.”

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Comment of the day

Pirelli brought the hardest three possible compounds to Portimao – as they also have to this weekend’s race at the Circuit de Catalunya. While Lewis Hamilton was ultimately satisfied with that choice last weekend, Robbie still believes they should have gone softer:

Seems to me ‘pushing every single lap’ in his and therefore of course the other drivers’ case was do-able with little wear, as he says without having to lift and coast and preserve.

But that doesn’t mean they were lapping as fast as they could have with softer tyres that would have also worn less there than at other tracks, and perhaps also would have not needed lifting and coasting and preservation.

A notch down on softness might have provided more grip, drivers enjoying the experience more, therefore more action with drivers more confident, and still had the tyres quite durable.

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On this day in F1

  • 15 years ago today Lewis Hamilton scored his first GP2 victory at the Nurburgring, almost 20 seconds ahead of ART team mate Alexandre Premat, despite serving a drive-through penalty for pit lane speeding

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Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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12 comments on “Tsunoda puzzled as he and Gasly give “opposite feedback” on car”

  1. Gasly has a very peculiar driving style no wonder Tsunoda’s feedback does not match Gasly’s. RB expects Tsunoda to trounce Gasly, Yuki has to step up.

    1. That the feedback isn’t the same as Gasly is expected but opposite is very strange indeed.

    2. @peartree If I’m not mistaken, Gasly’s driving style is a bit like Vettel’s, in that he requires an extremely stable and predictable rear-end to perform. That was one of the reasons he struggled at Red Bull because he couldn’t get a feel for the rear, whereas Max tends to prefer a car that has a pointy front, and that’s how the Red Bull was set up. The Alpha Tauri seems like an extremely stable car, which is why drivers prefer it to the Red Bull even despite its lack of downforce, and why Gasly looks so much better in it. This makes me think that if both Gasly and Tsunoda were placed in the Red Bull, we might actually see Yuki having the upper hand given his aggressive style under braking. But Gasly’s driving style should be a serious consideration for any team that wants to take him on in the future. Just like Vettel, he can’t just drive any car to its limits. He has very specific setup requirements, which is probably why Red Bull overlooked him for their senior team in 2021, as once again, he wouldn’t be able to cope with the rear-end of the Red Bull like Perez can.

      1. Could be why he’s over driving. If the car is more stable than he’s expecting he is probably trying to induce rotation by carrying more speed or being more aggressive with the inputs. Will feel like he’s fighting the car where Gasly is just stroking it around.

        Hopefully they can find a nice balance for him, would be good to see a Japanese driver being successful in the sport.

      2. But didn’t Seb won 4 WCs in that same RB??? 🤔

  2. I wonder how Mosley’s film might portray his Nazi-orgy 😜

    Tsunoda needs to calm down a bit. For the last two weekends he’s been overdriving the car and thus made life difficult for himself. Maybe it’s the pressure of being a RB-driver. He knows he has to deliver every weekend, if he wants to get a seat at RB.

    I disagree with Cotd. Considering the C3 (Soft) was barely quicker than the C2 in qualifying and how poorly the latter one performed in the race (Sainz’s 2nd stint), I’d say the tyre choice was spot on.
    I doubt the drivers would’ve found more grip on the C4. If anything, it would’ve disadvantaged the midfield drivers, starting the race on them, as wear would’ve possibly been very high.

    1. @srga91 I share the same view on tyres in Portugal.

    2. someone or something
      6th May 2021, 10:46


      I wonder how Mosley’s film might portray his Nazi-orgy

      Are you being facetious, or do you think it really was a Nazi-themed orgy?

      1. Heil would we know?

        1. A judge ruled on it and dismissed the accusation of a Nazi orgy.

  3. This weekend should be easier for Tsunoda track-wise, so I expect better. Overall, he’ll get better as the season progresses. I’m not worried.

  4. I have an opinion
    6th May 2021, 23:53

    Mosley film hits cinemas in July – but both parties are consenting and it is a private matter unfit for the papers.

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