AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says Yuki Tsunoda must learn to recognise when he is on the limit, but praised the rookie’s progress after his first appearance in Q3.Lando Norris was given a grid penalty.
After AlphaTauri’s strongest qualifying session of the season, Tost says that Tsunoda’s accident shows that he needs to learn when he is running on the limit.
“Yuki, I must say, from Friday onwards, showed all the time an improvement and went faster and faster,” said Tost.
“His Q2 time was really very fast and he was also there in Q3. On his last run, he pushed too much and braked too late. He has to learn to recognise when he’s on the limit. If you are within the same tenths as other top drivers, then there’s not so much space anymore to be faster. You must recognise as a driver, ‘I can’t brake later. I can’t push harder’.
“But once more, this is a kind of a learning process. And I must say that during this weekend he already made a big step forward in understanding the car and also from the technical feedback side. Therefore, I’m quite positive that we will get him in the right way because he has an unbelievable natural speed.”
Tsunoda showed flashes of strong pace in his brief F1 career so far but also enduring some frustrating race weekends. Tost expects that the sport’s youngest driver will develop with experience.
“From the beginning of the season, we must not forget there were a couple of race tracks which he didn’t know,” Tost explained.
“It was the first time in Portimao, for example, and in Portimao, we simply didn’t get the most out of our car from the set-up side and so on. And then in Barcelona he had a technical failure – he could have scored points there, but it was not his fault.
“But he’s learning and here in Baku – we all know it’s a difficult racetrack, it’s not so easy – and until the third qualifying, he was really on a good level and showed good pace.
“You never should crash, but to crash in Q3 is one story. What I didn’t like was the crash in Q1 in the first run in Imola, because with such a competitive car, you don’t do this. But that’s the cleverness he has to learn. And this cleverness runs in parallel with the experience. You can’t expect that a young driver knows everything.”
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