Tsunoda criticises “ridiculous” penalty for move Stroll called “desperate”

2021 Sao Paulo Grand Prix

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[raceweekendpromotion]Lance Stroll accused Yuki Tsunoda of a “desperate” move after a collision between the pair spoiled their races in the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The two drivers collided on lap four when Tsunoda attempted to pass the Aston Martin on the inside of turn one. Both cars took considerable damage, with the AlphaTauri losing its front wing and a substantial amount of bargeboard and the Aston Martin suffering floor damage.

Tsunoda was the only driver to start the race on soft tyres and Stroll believes his rival was taking too many risks in his effort to get to the front. “He’s got a really quick car, so in the first couple of laps, he was going to be super quick. He was super desperate to make a move and was just too far back.

“I don’t know what he was doing,” Stroll continued, “but I guess he’s just desperate and just way too optimistic.”

The stewards found Tsunoda at fault for the collision, issuing him a 10-second time penalty and two penalty points on his superlicence.

The AlphaTauri driver felt the penalty was too severe. Tsunoda said a five second sanction would have been “still harsh but okay” but that “10 seconds is really ridiculous, for me.”

He accused his rival of failing to notice him. “Everything was ruined with the collision with Lance Stroll, he was not looking at all in the back mirror, definitely, he just drove a normal line.”

“It was a risky move,” Tsunoda conceded. “But still, I didn’t have any lock-up in the first bit and I [only] had a little bit of lock-up because I realised that he was not looking at all, so it’s a shame.

“That move was there, it was fine so it’s a shame. But we’ll have to be back stronger next race.”

Stroll retired from the race as his handling continued to deteriorate. “Pieces [were] just falling off the car on the track and we were just going backwards,” he explained.

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2021 Sao Paulo 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 motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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24 comments on “Tsunoda criticises “ridiculous” penalty for move Stroll called “desperate””

  1. How is he being allowed to drive in that team at all? What a joke.

    1. It’s because his dad owns it… Oh wait

      1. You beat me to it! 😁

      2. Didnt know Tsunoda’s dad owns Scuderia AT? Tsunoda an his loud mouth are a joke.

        1. Didn’t know Killer’s dad did verbal killing in the 1990’s up to 2014? You and your name calling are a joke…the worst of them all.

          #verballykilled

    2. Quick questions for you: How many kills do you have? Is it true that you’re Public Enemy #1? Are people coming after you now?

      Zero, yes and probably.

  2. So being alongside and touching front wheels attracts the exact same penalty as being only a quarter up and hooking their rear wheels with your front wheels like Hamilton in Silverstone.

    Seems good. Makes perfect sense.

    Either Tsunoda deserves a lesser penalty or Hamilton deserved a stronger one. The lack of logic in F1 is so frustrating.

    1. @skipgamer Hamilton was well halfway alongside in Silverstone under braking. The fact that Hamilton tried to brake out of a crash when Verstappen si9mpy steered into him does not change that.

      But you are right, Verstappen should have had a 10s penalty or get a 5 place grid drop for the next race for what he did to Hamilton in Brazil.

  3. What was Stroll supposed to do? He had to start turning left eventually anyway, while Tsunoda dived in late & from quite far back, so 100% his fault. His overtaking attempt was both clumsy & slightly desperate.

    1. I’ve seen this argument a lot and it’s nonsensical. It doesn’t matter from how late you brake, Ricciardo has made his career on it.

      Tsunoda was along side in the corner, their front wheels literally touched when Stroll turned in.

      100% racing incident.

      For sure Tsunoda shouldn’t have taken the risk there but Stroll shouldn’t have squeezed him on the inside. He didn’t even realise Tsunoda was there which is worse.

      1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
        15th November 2021, 14:27

        Apparently he never learned from wiping out vettel after the race a few years ago. Stroll has proven before he doesn’t always have the best perception of his surroundings

      2. @skipgamer

        It doesn’t matter from how late you brake,

        Wrong.

        1. Err what a great argument you make… Spud.

    2. I find them both at fault. When Hamilton dived past Norris from a mile back in the sprint that was two competent drivers racing. Stroll and Tsunoda in that situation was not he same. Same with Perez, etc. He doesn’t just smash into people in attacking or defense somehow.

    3. Maybe Tsunoda was just braking late so he could see better who it was infront of him. :)

  4. People talk about Mazepin but this boy is the worst driver on this grid by far.

    And extremely unlikable as well.

    1. 100% agree. He is a shame to all Japanese.

  5. It’s brilliant when Lewis does it, yet far reaching when Tsunoda does it? No, it was brilliant that Norris didn’t close the door like a barbarian.

  6. Brazil’s turn one naturally has a very late apex – we’ve seen this move at least 100 times at this corner.

    Tsunoda was definitely far enough up and making his intentions clear enough to deserve some space. Stroll should have known (or at least suspected) that Tsunoda was going to go for it with that much room available on the inside. He even knew Tsunoda had softer tyres, so was clearly looking to make up track position. You can’t just turn in on a competitor that late leaving them no room at all, and expect to get away with it.
    I’d call it 100% a racing incident. They both could (and should) have avoided it, but neither did.

    1. I agree, but I’d say once he committed there was nothing more Tsunoda could do, he was pretty much on the inside curb and Stroll simply turned in like he wasn’t there. It looked to me at least like Tsunoda was in control of his car (he wasn’t going to do a Verstappen and push Stroll off the track).

      1. That’s true @george. Tsunoda was committed right from the braking point, whereas Stroll could have opened his steering all the way up until the point of contact.
        But he didn’t.

        So while I personally think Tsunoda was completely in the right to go for it, it was a bit risky – not just because of the shape of the corner but also who he was racing against.

  7. Tsunoda: “Just, he was not looking at all the back mirror…”

    Whenever I hear that from a driver, I reach for the gong.

  8. Thanks to Tsunoda being such a clumsy driver, my 2021 enjoyment of F1 is lowered from 100% to 85%. Yes Mazepin is terrible as well but at least he spins mostly on his own and does not influence the GP that much.

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