Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Paul Ricard, 2021

Tsunoda apologises to team after third qualifying crash in seven races

2021 French Grand Prix

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Yuki Tsunoda apologised to his AlphaTauri team after crashing out of qualifying for the third time at the seventh round of the season.

The rookie spun backwards into a barrier at turn two on his first lap in Q1. It is his second qualifying crash in a row, after he hit the wall during Q3 in Azerbaijan. Tsunoda also crashed out during Q1 at Imola.

“It was my mistake today in qualifying and I want to apologise to the team,” he said. “I just used too much of the yellow kerb at turn one and I spun out.”

Tsunoda’s car juddered unusually as he headed backwards into the barrier. “I tried to brake as much as possible to avoid contact with the barrier, but it was like skating on ice as I was going backwards,” he explained. “It was fairly low [speed] impact, but there is some damage to the car so the team will have to work hard tonight to get me ready for tomorrow.”

He was the first of two drivers to crash during today’s qualifying session. Mick Schumacher hit a barrier at turn six towards the end of Q1. The Haas driver said “a combination of a few factors” led to his car snapping out of control.

Schumacher also crashed out of qualifying
“It was partially because I had a very good exit out of turn five into turn six, basically I carried a bit more speed through and seems like the wind conditions had changed a bit also in that particular moment,” he said. “And all of those things combined basically equalled in the rear snapping.

“Therefore it was very hard for me to react to it. Looking back at it, obviously you can always think I could have done something better. And when after the car already spun, you can always try and manage it in some ways. But to be fair, I think things happen so quickly, especially at those speeds, that it’s very hard to judge where the wall is and what to do in what moment.”

Schumacher achieved his highest starting position of the season so far with 15th place, partly due to the red flags caused by his crash which prevented other drivers from improving their lap times.

“We had a car that was very good, had very good potential and it felt very good to drive,” he said. “That reflects in the position that we’re in right now.”

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Keith Collantine
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14 comments on “Tsunoda apologises to team after third qualifying crash in seven races”

  1. A lot of raw talent. Not sure if Marko is entertaint this way.
    His move to Italy does not solve the attitude.

  2. I see Albon replacing him next season

    1. Red bull isn’t particularly against mistakes from young drivers, remember, as long as there’s speed. There’s been a time where verstappen threw away soooooooooooooo many points early 2018, no sign of replacing him, because he was still as fast as ever, so if tsunoda is slow too he’ll be replaced, otherwise I doubt.

    2. It’s unlikely they will drop Tsunoda after only a single season. Usually the rookies get two to three seasons with the team, unless they move up to Red Bull. It is more likely that Gasly will be the next driver to leave the team, either for another team or to make room for Liam Lawson.

  3. Haas has very little money so they hire rookie drivers for little pay. Rookie drivers then go out and destroy millions of dollars of equipment each race. Might want to do a cost benefit analysis of that.

    1. yuki drives for AT!!!

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        19th June 2021, 20:54

        I think Jim was talking about Mick…

  4. Yuki and Mick need to calm down a bit, they are clearly trying too hard.

    Especially Yuki needs to keep more margin in Q1, because he keeps ruining his weekends after just a couple of minutes. Had he done that error on his 2nd run in Q2, he would’ve still been somewhere close to the top 10. This way he is making life unecessarily difficult for himself and Helmut Marko is slowly starting to question the decision to put the young japanese into that seat.
    Gasly proves the car is quick enough to make it into Q3, so Yuki just needs to focus and deliver clean laps in qualifying. It’s better to leave something on the table and starting P12 or 13 than crashing and starting from the back of the grid.

    Mick needs to realize that his car just isn’t quick enough for a spot in Q2 and stop pushing that hard. Even with a clean 2nd run in Q1, he wouldn’t have made it further (Latifi, Kimi and Stroll would’ve beaten his time by a couple of tenths). Outpacing Mazepin is all he needs to do or what is expected of him.

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      19th June 2021, 20:09

      But in a way I can’t blame Mick for wanting to do more than ‘just’ out pace Nikita

      1. Me neither. He just tries to squeeze every little bit of performance out of his Haas, which isn’t only slow but also pretty unpredictable (i.e. sudden snaps of oversteer).
        Ironically, his error was the reason he made it to Q2 😅

    2. I like that he tries hard, wants to be more than just a pay driver beater, kind of expected from schumacher’s son.

    3. Not sure that is necessarily the best strategy for a young driver.
      Vandoorne did that and it made him so unremarkable that he was out of a seat as soon as his contract was up.
      For younger drivers, I think people forgive errors more willingly than slowness.
      You *have* to show that you can beat your team mate. Mick will be fine in that sector. Yuki has work to do.

  5. f2 drivers coming to f1 tend to tone down, yuki is toning up. Mick thought straightening the car would keep the rear in check so he floored it, perhaps thta would have worked on most cars, instead he got a bigger crash instead.

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