Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Circuit de Catalunya, 2021

Tsunoda apologises to team after suggesting he and Gasly have different cars

2021 Spanish Grand Prix

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Yuki Tsunoda has apologised to his AlphaTauri team after suggesting differences between the team’s cars could be to blame for his qualifying performance.

The rookie was heard exclaiming on the radio in frustration after missing the cut at the end of the first stage of qualifying yesterday.

Speaking while the session continued, Tsunoda repeated recent comments about him and team mate Pierre Gasly giving different feedback about the cars, and elaborated on his concerns.

“It’s always different feedback compared to my team mate,” said Tsunoda. “Every time opposite.

“So I have a little bit of a question mark if it’s the same car. Of course it’s the same car but the character of the car is too different.

“Maybe, of course, it’s just the driving style. I don’t know what’s happened, why I’m struggling this much.”

He added it should be “easy to go to Q2” in their car but “I really struggled to even go to Q2.”

Tsunoda retracted his remarks in a social media post on Saturday evening.

“I am very fortunate to have a group of such talented and hardworking people working on my car and wanted to apologise to the team for my comments today,” he said.

“I couldn’t maximise the potential of the car and was frustrated with myself. I will analyse the data with my engineers and make sure to improve for tomorrow.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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23 comments on “Tsunoda apologises to team after suggesting he and Gasly have different cars”

  1. I didn’t interpret his comments as a statement that they have different cars, but that it feels that way. But Tsunoda’s English skills are clearly not that great, so he is better off saying less to the media.

    1. @aapje Japan is one of those countries in which the general English fluency level isn’t the greatest.
      Anyway, his English is decent enough. I’ve heard far more broken English, which I’ve still understood correctly, LOL.

    2. either way he hinted as much, he backtracks in classic Japanese way, rebel politeness.

  2. someone got a talking to

  3. I’m sure that FOM chooses radio broadcasts to hype up the drama, but I have been unimpressed with Tsunoda’s various radio outbursts. Getting to the point where your engineer is effectively telling you to shut up isn’t a great sign and shows a major maturity boost is needed. It’d be slightly better if his performances thus far had been stellar, but alas they have not.

    1. It is currently showing that of this year rookies, Mick is clearly doing the best on and off the track.
      One could argue that Mazepin is doing the most out of the track, but not in the intended way…

      Interested to see how this will evolve during the year.

    2. Worse yet they told him to “ Calm down” ouch!

      If he cannot control the emotions he may not be driving F1 long like Jenson said.

    3. Completely agree, his hype train is doing a great job of derailing. I am not sure what he was expecting to accomplish this first season but he sure needs to have a quietly successful weekend. So far he throws little tantrums and overdrives the car.

      Mick is showing how to be a very classy and fast rookie – make the most of the day with some dignity and grace. I have no doubt we would be seeing better results with Mick in that car. Calm down Yuki, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

      Reply moderated
  4. To be fair, his comments are getting taken totally out of context.

    He’s only saying he doesn’t understand why he has a totally different feel to the car v Gasly to such an extent their feedback to engineers is the exact opposite all the time. He’s not accusing anyone of anything, only expanding on the point he’s confused how it can be so different.

    1. “So I have a little bit of a question mark if it’s the same car.”

      I dunno, I would say his apology is totally justified in this case @mrcento.

      1. @john-h If you quoted the whole part, instead oc just one sentence, may be you would understand what @mrcento meant. I totally agree with him.

        So I have a little bit of a question mark if it’s the same car. Of course it’s the same car but the character of the car is too different.

        1. @silfen I read that as meaning yes it’s an Alpha Tauri but no they are not being treated equally because the last bit he says “too” different. Maybe it’s just lost in translation.

          1. You’re free to read into the comment what you will. But quoting the sentence you did from Yuki, without his following sentence was VERY misleading. The sort of stuff we expect from CNN, or The Guardian, or Huffpo, or Colbert, or other political news organizations.

      2. That’s my point about context. You can’t just selectively quote 1 part of what he says and decide on the meaning without taking everything else he says into consideration to frame the context.

        What he is basically saying is just that he’s really confused and doesn’t understand how it’s even possible to feel so different in the car to Gasly and is experiencing the opposite to him. Undoubtedly there’s a little bit of an English breakdown somewhere there and it’s not all come out exactly how he meant, but it’s clear with what else he said in what context he was aiming for.

        i.e ‘I listen to Pierre’s feedback and that makes me wonder why he’s not experiencing what i am’.

        He could just have easily have said ‘we’re so far apart with what we’re experiencing, i don’t understand it, it’s so confusing, if you heard our feedback to the team you’d swear we’re driving different cars!, But clearly it’s not that so if there’s no issues with the cars chassis it must be on my end, maybe my driving style or i just need to adapt and learn it’s quirks better, problem is i’m not sure where to start on that because i don’t know what one is the issue!’

        But that’s easy to say as a native English speaker, which Yuki isn’t.

  5. Looks like Horner and Marko had to talk to someone.

    He should listen to his team first and calm down.

  6. Tsunoda is making a bit of a mess to this start of his rookie season all round. Clearly Formula 1 is trickier than he imagined. He needs to reset.

  7. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    8th May 2021, 22:43

    He’s quite enjoyably mouthy. Speaks his mind to the point of rudeness – not unlike Raikkonen, but just louder, and without the world championship to back him up. He’s got a lot of potential but it’d be better if we were discussing his on track exploits than those he makes on the radio.

  8. RocketTankski
    8th May 2021, 22:49

    Hartley and Kvyat are keeping their phones on, just in case.

  9. Cristiano Ferreira
    9th May 2021, 1:09

    To a rookie he seems very arrogant. Most of the time he is swearing on radio or accusing someone of something, to the point his engineer asked him to “calm down”.

    I don’t know if his behaviour is because of his Honda backing or not, but he has to calm down, because so far he is more bark than bite. If this trend continues he is going to be sacked.

    1. I do wonder if he’s in F1 a year too early for his development. He seems lost and a bit flustered. I don’t think he’s arrogant, more over excitable.

      Maybe he needed another year in F2 just to learn his craft and setup feel a little more, would probably help him be a more composed person behind the wheel too.

      I do think unless he starts crashing out almost every week he’ll be given a lot more time though v other rookies because he’s a Honda guy and it’s Hondas last year in the sport.

      1. @mrcento I don’t think it’s too early. He was in F2 for a season already, which is more than some drivers got before being promoted to F1. He just needs some time. Adjusting to a new car is tough enough for some veterans like Ricciardo and Alonso, let alone for a rookie.

  10. Thinking the team is favoring the other and even sabotaging you is not unusual in F1 and can’t remember anyone clamoring for apologies because of it

    1. Now they’re busted.

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