Tsunoda’s Baku speed “really worried” team boss Tost

2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost admitted he feared Yuki Tsunoda would crash during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Tsunoda scored his first points since Bahrain with a career-best seventh place finish on Sunday. Tost said “Yuki did a fantastic job” during the weekend.”

“Okay [he had] the small incident but it was in qualifying three and can happen, happened also [to] more experienced drivers,” he added.

Tsunoda crashed during Q3, bringing the session to a premature end in his first appearance in the top 10 shoot-out.

The AlphaTauri team principal said Tsunoda’s speed in the race was even more impressive than during qualifying. “His race pace sometimes was unbelievable.

“I was really worried that something [would] happen because he was really fast. He is in a very good way.”

Tost expects more points finishes from Tsunoda as the season goes on. “I think that he will come up with some good results also in the second half of the season when he got a little bit more experience and especially on race tracks which he knows.

“He improved a lot, we must not forget [it’s his] first time in Baku. Of course, in Bahrain he scored two points when he finished ninth, but he knew the track quite well from Formula 2, then we tested there. We could find a good set-up.

“But we came here, to Baku; he didn’t know the track and he immediately got quite familiar with it. He started from seventh position and finished seventh and for me [it was a] really fantastic job from his side, fantastic performance.”

Following the Monaco Grand Prix, Red Bull moved Tsunoda to Italy, where Tost has devised a new, intensive training regimen for the rookie.

He sees great potential in the rookie, despite a difficult run of races prior to last weekend. “We have to work on some things,” said Tost. “We know this but I’m confident that we get everything together because he is a super talent.”

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2021 Azerbaijan Grand Prix

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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16 comments on “Tsunoda’s Baku speed “really worried” team boss Tost”

  1. “Tost expects more points finishes from Tsunoda as the season hoes on. ” Yes the season is selling itself for money….

    1. I get that reference…(hint for everyone: the penultimate round of the season)

  2. The title seems to belong in the same category as Chanoch “this car has too much grip!” Nissany.

  3. He’ll get better and more consistent, I’m confident.

    1. @jerejj Hard to do a lot worse than his performances before Baku.

      1. It’s his rookie season and the drivers these days have so little time driving the actual cars on tracks. Give him a break lol. And yeah he could be doing a lot worse coughmazepincough.

        1. Indeed @davidhunter13, he is a rookie and he is learning. When every experienced drivers have a hard time even just changing team (see Perez, Vettel taking about 4-5 races and Ricciardo still working to get to grips with it), or getting back up to speed after a year out of the car (we saw that with Giovannazi, with Ocon and currently with Alonso), we can hardly expect a rookie to be the finished package after the first 5-6 races.

      2. Scoring points in his first race was a better performance than half the field.

  4. Sergey Martyn
    10th June 2021, 10:18

    After that much struggle a single remote finish is praised as unbelievable breakthrough…
    Kvyat was fired after much better preformances.

    1. How many seasons did Kvyat drive in F1 before then? You can count Yuki’s participation in number of races.

    2. @Sergey Martyn Kvyat only offered a return as a seat-warmer for an RB-backed driver coming through the ranks, i.e., he was only ever a stop-gap solution, like Hartley and Albon.

    3. Although I side with Kvyat regarding the way Red Bull treated him, we can’t do anything with him anymore as he’s in the RAF until the end of 2022.

  5. Yuki has a lot of potential but also a lot of rough edges.
    So the program to soften up those edges while keeping his raw pace is underway.
    It would be nice to see a Japannees driver compete for the prices on a regular basis.

  6. I feel like Tsunoda would have been up to speed faster as Verstappen’s teammate. Recall how Gasly was always chasing different set ups to Verstappen at during his Red Bull tenure—much to his engineers’ distress as we learned. It seems like he wants/needs a pinned down car compared to Verstappen who has always seemed more comfortable with a looser faster car. We’ve already seen Tsunoda sliding around like a champ earlier in the season and I just wonder if Gasly’s setups and mindset are holding the rookie back. Food for thought

  7. Perez replacement?

    Reply moderated

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