AlphaTauri AT03 rear wing, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal, 2022

AlphaTauri have modified rear wing to solve Baku DRS problem – Tsunoda

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Yuki Tsunoda says AlphaTauri understand why his Drag Reduction System failed during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

In brief

Tsunoda confident DRS problem won’t recur

Tsunoda was shown the black-and-orange flag during Sunday’s race after part of his rear wing flap failed. Speaking to media ahead of this weekend’s race in Canada the AlphaTauri driver said he could “feel slightly different behaviour” at the rear of his car as early as lap three, which eventually developed into a failure.

While he was initially unaware his DRS had failed during the race, and suspected an engine failure at first, Tsunoda said AlphaTauri have now discovered what went wrong.

“The team explained it really well,” he said. “The important thing is to understand what was the issue there and they already modified things to the rear wing and we have good confidence that it won’t to happen again. So it’s a good thing that we have those issues in the beginning of the season.”

Pierre Gasly scored the team’s best result of the season last weekend, and Tsunoda admitted it was unfortunate to suffer a problem at a track where the team had a strong car.

“The race was a kind of really important race so I was kind of a bit compromised. But we understand well, so hopefully it doesn’t happen again. We understand also that issue happened already kind of in the first half of the race, quite early stages, so that affects slightly also our performance.

Gasly suspects team were worried about his wing

Gasly thinks his team warned him not to put up too much of a fight against Lewis Hamilton because they didn’t want him using his DRS and risking the same problem his team mate suffered.

He race engineer Pierre Hamelin told him late in the race not to fight too hard against Hamilton when the Mercedes driver caught him.

“Apparently I was quite quiet the whole race so he wanted to speak to me and he was quite stressed,” said Gasly in response to a question from RaceFans. “More stressed than I was because I had quite a lonely race until Lewis started to grow quite quickly in my mirrors.

“I knew the situation. To me, it doesn’t change, I tried to defend my position as hard as I can within the limits of the track. Obviously there you don’t want to do a mistake and end up in the wall. But then whether it’s a wall or gravel is the same thing, same game.

“I got the message, I think they were a bit worried maybe with the rear wing. I fought but honestly the pace difference was so big that I could not hold him for so long.”

Steiner welcomes F1’s bid for African round

Alain Prost won F1’s last race in Kyalami
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner welcomed the new F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali is courting a race in Kyalami, South Africa.

“I think for Formula 1 in general, for everybody, it’s good to go to a different continent,” said Steiner. “In the end it’s a world championship and hopefully it happens.

“I’ve never been there in Kyalami and people have been there they say it’s it’s a good place to go to. So I think it would be good.”

Domenicali visited the circuit, which last held an F1 race in 1993, earlier this week.

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Comment of the day

Formula 1 must take the risks it is exposing drivers to seriously, says Antz:

Even body’s of the extremely fit aren’t immune to injury. I’ve experienced it first hand and have never recovered. Was only early 30s when it happened to me. Its easy to think you’re invincible, until you’re not. It’s not worth the momentary pleasure to have the rest of your life so ruthlessly compromised. Something needs to be done before someone is irreparably injured.

The “fairest” thing seems to be a minimum ride height, the teams not having issues seem to be riding slightly higher already from what I can see. Hard to know if that’s accurate, but the Mercedes do look incredibly low.
Antz (@antznz)

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Beninlux, Jonathanproc and Vikenbauer!

Author information

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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6 comments on “AlphaTauri have modified rear wing to solve Baku DRS problem – Tsunoda”

  1. Guess Alpha Tauri gave up on using the new verstappen proof drs actuators.
    Montréal should also add the name of that marshall that got mowed over.

  2. A nice & respectful tribute to a Montreal Canadiens legend, among the greatest ever Canadiens & French-Canadian hockey players alongside the greatest French-Canadian racing driver.

    COTD couldn’t be more right. This matter is serious & thus should indeed be taken seriously.

    1. COTD was right about safety but clearly wrong in the solution. The problem was porpoising, so FIA directive on limiting it has more impact on health and safety than ride height rule. What use of higher car at parc ferme if the team can still designed it to be lower during high speed and still porpoised?

      1. @ruliemaulana my thinking was this: the issue *seems* to be the cars hitting the road when the bounce, not the porpoising itself. Raising the ride height to eliminate them contacting the road would so the high impact jarring which as you point out, would have to be measured during the race not just parc ferme. The merc did look significantly lower on the road & running at a ride height like red bull has would likely eliminate the problem? Anyway, moot point now..

        I do think the fia solution is more appropriate than my suggestion, making the teams responsible for their drivers comfort/health without forcing a rule change is quite elegant. I’m pleasantly surprised!

        1. @antznz,
          Congrats with your CotD, and thanks for sharing your personal (and very relevant) experience.

          I did not agree with your ‘ride height’ solution, as it would mean that all would be impacted (performance and/or budget wise) for the inability (or even worse, unwillingness) of some to take their driver’s health seriously.

          I fully agree with FIA’s solution (focussing on the health of the drivers rather than ordering blanket technical changes) and applaud you for changing/evolving your views in the above reply (doesn’t happen a lot in the comment section).

        2. @antznz I actually surprised by how smooth FIA reasoning too. They double down in health issues, making it hard to argue.

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