Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Silverstone, 2021

Unhappy Tsunoda blames weighbridge delay after fifth Q1 exit

2021 British Grand Prix

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Yuki Tsunoda said the time he lost at the weighbridge spoiled his qualifying session, after narrowly failing to reach Q2.

The AlphaTauri rookie has now been eliminated in Q1 in half of this year’s 10 race weekends, so far.

“I’d say the weighbridge fucked everything,” Tsunoda explained after being called in for a random check during Friday’s qualifying session at Silverstone. The delay meant he caught several drivers at the end of one lap.

“Just at the end it was really tight and I couldn’t do [a] proper cool-down lap. And also the last corners a lots of cars were waiting. I lost already three-tenths in the main straight, I almost regained the three tenths in the lap but [with] the loss I already have in sector one and main straight, and also I couldn’t do proper cool down lap… it’s just a shame.”

Having only had an hour to practice before Friday’s qualifying session, Tsunoda said he was starting to get to grips with his car when his qualified session ended. He failed to make the cut for Q2 by just two hundredths of a second.

“Even [though] there was no perfect lap due to the traffic, I start to get used to it for the driving and I started to also feel the confidence. It feels like I got started now but it’s already finished in Q1.”

AlphaTauri chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls said Tsunoda did well to recover the time he lost due to traffic.

“Yuki was looking set to progress into Q2, but a traffic jam in the last corner when starting his final lap cost him nearly 0.2s before turn one. He did well to make most of this time back, but sadly it was not enough.”

All teams were required to use the soft tyres throughout qualifying. Eddolls said AlphaTauri found during practice they were less competitive on that compound.

“The performance on the mediums was aligned to our expectations, but when fitting the softs we struggled more than we expected,” he said. “We analysed the data and made some changes for qualifying, but without the usual sessions before entering Parc Ferme, we weren’t able to tune the car as much as we would do normally.”

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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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17 comments on “Unhappy Tsunoda blames weighbridge delay after fifth Q1 exit”

  1. I’m surprised the quoted F-word isn’t censored in this article, but overall fair enough. Gasly also struggled somewhat.

    1. pastaman (@)
      16th July 2021, 21:40

      Typically, only the article titles are censored.

    2. It is a factual quote.

    3. Weren’t either in the Baku team radio article.

  2. pastaman (@)
    16th July 2021, 21:40

    They need to rethink the weighbridge process. Screwing people over “equally” does not mean fairness, which is the ultimate goal.

    1. The process is fine. Teams know they could be selected and if they don’t account for it in their planning, then they are taking a gamble that it might go wrong.

      1. pastaman (@)
        16th July 2021, 22:50

        You can’t plan ahead to get pulled into the weighbridge every time you go out or you will be screwed another way, which is why teams don’t do that. Just because it’s equal risk doesn’t mean it’s fair.

    2. I guess one question is how many drivers have been caught doing something wrong in the last 10 years? Does anyone know? If the answer is “none” then surely that means it wouldn’t hurt to have a slight change, e.g. notify a driver that at the end of that Qualifying session they must report to the weigh bridge.

      1. With your “Solution” they could underfuel in the first run of a session.

        1. @Zink Nothing wrong with underfueling.

        2. I believe the rule is a car must have at least 1 litre of fuel in the car at the end of a session, so other than what does it matter how much fuel is put into a car? Is the weighbridge sensitive enough to determine if a car has the minimum amount of fuel in the tank? Even if the weighbridge can detect a change of 737 grams, how do the Stewards know a car having a certain weight less 737 grams wasn’t caused in part by a loss in engine coolant or oil somewhere? One could even argue they don’t even need that one litre of fuel if the plan is to just do a few early laps and then return to the garage to be refuelled for a few more laps and have that mandatory 1 litre of fuel added to the car. My observation is often the fastest times set in Qualifying are towards the end of the session, so I’m guessing everyone of the cars on track has more than enough fuel to comply with the minimum fuel load requirement at the end of the session.
          The whole point being is no one has so far pointed to a car that in the last ten years was found to be underweight when they were randomly weighed during Qualifying. While I’m slightly sceptical about Yuki’s claim, I think the Stewards should at least look at whether they could change their process so they can do their job and also minimise the inconvenience to the drivers of weighing their car during a Qualifying session.

  3. This guy seems to spend a lot of his time “unhappy” about something….

    1. He is unlikely to last too long with Lawson, Vips, Doohan in the pipeline. Has been quite a disappointment throughout the season compared to the pre-season hype.

      His attitude of expletively blaming the team, officials and everything else apart from himself hasn’t endeared him to anyone either.

      1. @f1g33k Piastri too, his rise has been rapid, and I dont imagine he will be overlooked at the rate he is going.

        1. @rache3 Piastri is an Alpine Academy driver.

          1. @Jerejj
            But – neither alpine drivers contracts expire end of this year (not that that means too much these days.)

            There is so much talent, and only 20 seats. Who knows?

  4. What Yuki and a couple of others that feel they’re out of position will need to do is not go crazy at the start of the sprint race, but I doubt that’ll happen.

    Expect carnage at the start of it as drivers try to make up as many positions as they can in the first couple of laps.

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