Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Paul Ricard, 2021

AlphaTauri keeping faith in Tsunoda after “unlucky” qualifying crash

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: AlphaTauri are sure they can get the best out of Yuki Tsunoda following his third crash in qualifying this year.

In brief

Tsunoda “extremely fast” – Dezoteux

AphaTauri’s head of performance Guillaume Dezoteux is convinced they can help Tsunoda avoid further mistake following his setback in France.

“We are looking forward to the race in Austria,” he said. “We are positive because again, we think we can fight for fifth in the championship. So the target is to keep the momentum and hopefully we can bring Yuki in the fight.

“This weekend he has been a bit unlucky. He did a small mistake at the beginning of quali that compromised not only the quali but also the race. But he is extremely fast. So we want to build the weekend step by step with him like we did in Baku and we are convinced he can do well for us and support us in this fight.”

Tyres only difference between two Austria races

The upcoming two F1 races in Austria will differ only in their tyre allocations, as Pirelli intends to bring softer rubber for the second of the two races. While Formula 1 could specify other differences, such as variations in the DRS zone configuration, race director Michael Masi confirmed that “within the framework of the current sporting regulations” there was no scope for any other variation.

“Obviously you’ll see starting at Silverstone the what we’re going to undertake with the Sprint Qualifying, which will be a great innovation that we’re looking forward to. But no, nothing from a sporting perspective [for Austria].”

Domenicali hoping for more fans at races

Expect more race fans in the stands at future races
Formula1 CEO Stefano Domenicali echoed the words of FIA president Jean Todt, who expects to see more fans at coming races.

“It has been great to see the reaction of our drivers watching to the fans, cheering with them,” said Domenicali. “It has been really great.

“I really hope that already in Austria there will be crowd, the second Austria will be a full crowd. And then hopefully, of course provided that we respect all the safety requirements and the regulations of the country, we’re going to see more crowds in the next races. And this will be the game changer for the incredible season we are living this year.”

Wehrlein penalised again

Having lost his win in race one at Puebla when he was disqualified, Pascal Wehrlein fell from second to fourth in last weekend’s second Formula E race after being given a five-second time penalty for an unusual infringement with his Fanboost.

Having investigated him for allegedly using too much power, the stewards found Wehrlein had activated his Fanboost at a time when he had too little power to fully use it. He fell foul of a rule intended to prevent drivers trying to demand more than 200kW from a battery in a low state of charge.

“The stewards found that there was no ‘over power’ but an improper use of the Fanboost,” they explained. “The technical data shows that the driver activated the Fanboost but due to the low remaining energy in the car the minimum power of 240kW was not reached. The technical data shows that the maximum energy of 100kJ were not completely used. [Due] to this proof the stewards consider no ‘overpower’ [occured] with the consequence of a penalty above.”

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Comment of the day

Artist's impression: Changes to Yas Marina circuit for 2021
Report: Yas Marina changing track layout to aid overtaking at F1 season finale
A thumbs-up for the changes at Yas Marina revealed here yesterday:

Happy to see this attempted.

The banked turn will actually have far more reaching consequences beyond that turn. Because, by eliminating a string of low speed corners, cars will actually be setup differently with lower focus on mechanical and low speed corners.

What this would mean is that top speeds could be slightly more. Overtaking may improve at the current turn seven-eight.

The new banked corner will also be faster and even more challenging. Also, overtaking moves may complete at the entrance to the hotel section making cars go side by side through the banked turn and the following fast right hander turns.

Encouraging changes. 10 years too late. But better late than never.

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On this day in F1

Ayrton Senna gave Renault their last win of the turbo era today in 1986, half a minute ahead of Jacques Laffite and Alain Prost
  • 35 years ago today Ayrton Senna won the United States Grand Prix at Detroit for Lotus ahead of Jacques Laffite, the latter making his final appearance on the podium

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  • 24 comments on “AlphaTauri keeping faith in Tsunoda after “unlucky” qualifying crash”

    1. I’d be surprised if Tsunoda hasn’t already sealed his fate as a one and done driver. There’s just been so many mistakes. We all know what Red Bull is like and it’s not as if they don’t have a lot of talent waiting in the wings. For sure they will say nice things until the end with much support as they recently have. Perhaps they’ve learnt that mid season shuffles don’t help much.

      With Gasly unlikely to make the move to Red Bull unless Verstappen leaves, that leaves Red Bull with only Tsunoda’s seat for new talent. With Ocon now tied up at Alpine there isn’t much option for Gasly to move to another stable either.

      1. @skipgamer I dunno, what’s the saying about you can make a fast driver stop crashing, but you can’t make a slow driver fast. Or something along those lines.

        His raw speed I think will keep him in the game for a little while yet. Tough cars to drive this season, and limited track time makes it harder to get “up to speed” (or out of the walls in Tsunoda’s case) than ever before.

      2. @skipgamer I’m not yet worried about him. I’m positive he’s going to stay for next season.
        @justrhysism Agreed.

      3. If Yuki can find some consistency then I think he stays. Ah, point scoring consistency that is. There’s no doubt he’s fast and the AT car is performing exceptionally well. They have some strong talent in F2 though so more pressure on the AT seats than there has been for a few years. I doubt any decisions have been made on next year’s line up, other than Gasley is contracted for another year from what Marko says.

    2. Go home Formula E, you’re drunk

      1. @nanotech it really just seems like a regulation for the sake of having a regulation, doesn’t it? It’s basically: “The driver didn’t use the artificial advantage we gave them, so PENALTY!”


        1. I mean, at least they’re trying hard to make e-racing interesting, but the tech’s gotta catch up. Right now it’s like a video game because they can’t race on merit.

        2. We would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for those pesky meddling social media voters!

    3. Formula E has some of the most ridiculous penalty’s I’ve ever seen.

      They also don’t seem able to go a race weekend without a dozen penalties been handed out which makes the series look like a bit of a joke sadly. Especially given how dumb some of the penalties seem.

      Its stuff like that which are going to hinder its growth. Why take it seriously if the results are 90% likely to change after the flag.

      1. I thought that Fanboost was a joke, but the whole technical infringement rule book seems to be a stand up comedian festival.

    4. It just seems a little disingenuous that we, the un-washed masses, continue beating up Red Bull for swapping drivers in and out. as frequently as they have.
      The last time I checked, there are no other F1 teams that operate a similar second tier team that is used, directly, to groom talent in an active F1 team environment.
      Where would Albon, Kvyat, Gasley and Tsunoda be if there was no Red Bull “B Team”. They may have had a chance somewhere, likely as not, in another formula, but not all or possibly any of them would have had the opportunity to dive into the deep end like they have, willingly and with vigor.
      I checked in with the ever precise F1 Wiki and they listed 51 past and present Red Bull drivers, Vetel, Max and Riciardo included. Chastise them if you will, and more than a few will, but give them credit for paving the way for so many to have a shot at the top rungs of the motor racing ladder.
      Tsunoda, The real test will not be him seeing out the season, I expect he will, but whether he gets a seat in 2022 after the Honda connection has passed on. We can hope he does.

      1. @rekibsn I’m confident he’s going to stay for next season. Overall I agree with your post.

      2. This exactly.

        RBR have made it quite clear that they will promote from within their young driver ranks where at all possible and have done so pretty successfully.

        I suspect that without RBR successfully showing that sort of initiative, not only would we possibly not have Max as well developed as he is now, but we wouldn’t be seeing the likes of Leclerc, Sainz etc driving Ferrari cars and we’d still have tired old drivers being preferred over new blood.

    5. Maybe FE should have haterboost where fan downvotes make the person behind you go faster.

    6. Zandvoort looks a little mangy to me, are they going to have it suited up for F1 by September?

      1. @kerrymaxwell, I’m not worried.

    7. I thought Formula 1 was hard to follow but my gosh man, every single race there’s something new being penalized. Like you never expect ever seeing someone getting a penalty for not using push to pass or DRS…

      Every weekend it’s something different…

      1. RandomMallard (@)
        22nd June 2021, 7:24

        @fer-no65 I personally don’t think it’s the penalties that are stupid, but the regulations that mean the stewards have no choice other yhan give a penalty. And in some cases, it isn’t even the regs at fault, and is down to the sheer stupidity of the teams (e.g. not declaring tyres before the race)

        1. @randommallard yeah, I meant the regs, as the penalty comes after. You’re right about declaring tyres, that’s very normal in motor racing. But I’m struggling to think a reason why not actually using Powerboost can be a transgression of the rules.

    8. Under the proposed changes, the entry onto the longest straight would be faster, yes, but I’m not sure if this would be enough for higher top speeds as the straight would also become slightly shorter in length.

    9. Re Tsunoda: Just don’t overshoot it!
      Re Wehrlein: Ditch Fanboost.
      Re Iwasa: Soon he’ll get his first podium. Wait for it.
      Re Nissany: “Oh deer!”

    10. now that picture of Senna is a stunner

      1. Nothing’s better than that.

    11. There’s a lot of talk about Yuki’s “raw speed”, I don’t get it. How is raw speed determined or quantified? I’ve heard the term only used for underperforming or inconsistent drivers, who crash a lot, so I guess it’s not a good thing? Lance Stroll is alleged to have raw speed, Pastor Maldonado, Daniil Kvyat, Jolyon Palmer etc.(OK, the last one is a joke) The thing is, I haven’t seen anything in Yuki’s skill set to suggest he’s extraordinarily quick. I by no means think he’s a bad driver, not even remotely. But the hype around him was simply over the top, for no good reason, and it definitely didn’t help him. I mean, it’s like he and Gasly are competing in different cars, such is the pace difference. He was declared the winner of pre season testing Championship, even though it was discovered his fastest times were aided by early use of DRS. He scored 2 points in Bahrain and Ross Brawn anoints him the best rookie F1 has seen in years! Just after one race! Not sure the time span for the “for years” duration. Better than, Norris? Russell? Sainz Jr? Verstappen Jr? Hamilton??? Unfortunately for Yuki, he seemed to buy into the hype and started acting like he should be in the Red Bull already, ranting over the radio like Fernando on steroids. Where are we today? 3 crashes in 7 qualifying sessions, 29 points behind his team mate.

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