Tsunoda “has to score many more points than he did last year” – Tost

2023 F1 season

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AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says he expects driver Yuki Tsunoda to score “many more points” this season than he did in 2022.

Tsunoda is entering into his third year in Formula 1 with AlphaTauri. He was heavily out-scored by his more experienced team mate Pierre Gasly in his rookie season in 2021 but matched Gasly more regularly in his second year. However, Tsunoda continued to make some major errors in 2022, including crashing out of the Canadian Grand Prix exiting the pit lane and then hitting Gasly as the pair battled for points at the British Grand Prix.

AlphaTauri struggled for performance in 2022 compared to the year before, falling from sixth to ninth in the constructors’ championship. Tost says AlphaTauri’s new AT04 will prove more formidable than its predecessor and expects Tsunoda to improve his performances in his third season.

“Last year, Yuki struggled with the car,” Tost said. “This year, as I expect we will have quite a competitive car, Yuki must always aim to be in Q3 and finish the races in the points.

“He is a very highly- skilled driver and now has a lot of experience with two seasons in Formula 1. For this reason, of course, he has to score many more points than he did last year.”

After AlphaTauri fell back into the midst of the midfield battle in 2022, Tost expects that the grid will be more competitive throughout the order in 2023.

“I think that the whole field will be much closer together,” he said. “Of course, the three big teams still have an advantage from their infrastructure, from the personnel side, but I’m quite convinced that in 2023 the cars will be much more evenly matched.

“In addition, while [Max] Verstappen won the championship quite early on in the season last year, I don’t expect that one driver will have such a big advantage this year and win so early. I think it will become a fight that goes on until the end of the season. That’s what the fans, spectators, and we all want to see.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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9 comments on “Tsunoda “has to score many more points than he did last year” – Tost”

  1. V clear message: This is your Mick Schumacher assessment year. If by halfway through the season your results are no better than 2022, time for a change…

  2. Indeed but the ‘field much closer together’ estimation could prove wrong.
    Even if AT has a better overall package than last season, I doubt they could outscore Alpine, Mclaren, AM, or even AR over the season.

  3. The better the car and team are, the better the driver will seem to be too.
    This seems to be saying that if the car’s a dud again, the driver is out – even through no fault of his own.

    Ferrari’s mentality seems to be infecting the other Italian team. If the results aren’t better, sack someone.

    1. Coventry Climax
      12th February 2023, 18:47

      That – better car => better driver seems – might be true for casual/rookie/no-depth watchers, but is downright not true for the experienced follower.
      I would hope -and expect that- the teambosses fall into the latter category.
      Unfortunately there’s a measure of politics and commercial interest involved as well, which frequently obscures what the team bosses think into what they say they think. Mickey Mouse Schumacher and Let’s Stroll being great examples.

  4. Huh? Tsunoda is “the best rookie F1 has had for years”, surely such an incredible driver should be aiming for wins and podiums in his 3rd year. It’s not like he’s pay driver because of Honda or something like that.

  5. It’s virtually impossible for Yuki Tsunoda to control his own destiny.

    Franz is being somewhat disingenuous by suggesting that scoring many more points would let Yuki keep going at AT, but I guess “many more” covers both the realms of reasonably more and unreasonably more points scored.

  6. Sure sign there is a ticket to Japan with open date.

  7. If you set someone a task which you are sure they can’t complete, and they fail to complete it, then haven’t they done what you wanted them to do? Yuki’s job is to drive the car, it is the team’s responsibility to give him a race winning car. If the car isn’t capable of winning races then why is there this expectation Yuki is supposed to regularly visit the podium?

  8. Coventry Climax
    12th February 2023, 18:57

    I think it is fair to say Tost knows a bit about Tsunoda. Putting pressure on him, which this is, might seem the wrong approach, but maybe Tsunoda performs better under pressure? The great drivers usually did/do, actually.
    Also I think Tost is well aware that the performance potential of the car is a prerequisite, as much as he’s aware that reliablility issues can’t be blamed on Tsunoda.
    Lastly I think it is fair for Tost to expect Tsunoda to perform at a higher consistency level than the previous years, and likely that’s all he’s actually saying.

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