Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, Monaco, 2023

“Hard to accept” losing points finish due to brake problem – Tsunoda

2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Yuki Tsunoda was on course for his best result of the 2023 Formula 1 season so far in the Monaco Grand Prix before a brake problem sent him tumbling down the order and left him two laps down at the finish.

The AlphaTauri driver spent all but one of the first 66 laps running in ninth place and was on course to score points in Monaco for the first time in his career.

However after rain hit the track in the latter portion of the race, Tsunoda began to experience trouble with brake glazing. This occurs when the brake pad hardens once it goes beyond its operating temperature range. That reduces stopping power, then when the brake returns to usable temperatures it can then lock the wheel.

“Until the rain started it was good,” Tsunoda told media including RaceFans. “But I had a brake issue and suddenly couldn’t push at all, and just pace was really, really poor, so it was really tough

“The team said to push the brake more because the temperature will come up, so the brake will be in the normal range,” he explained. “So ‘okay, I appreciate it and see how it goes’. And I went immediately into the wall.”

With team mate Nyck de Vries only finishing 12th, AlphaTauri have scored just two points from the first six grands prix of the season.

“I’m so disappointed,” said Tsunoda. “I can’t describe with a word, but just until the until the middle of the race it was such a good car and such a good pace. Everything went well, so it’s hard to accept what happened in the end.”

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Williams driver Alexander Albon experienced a similar brake problem during the race and brought his car home a lap down in 14th.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, Monaco, 2023
Poll: Vote for your 2023 Monaco Grand Prix Driver of the Weekend
“The problem [occurs] when you go from hot to cold, when you go from dry to wet,” Albon explained. “I think Yuki had this problem, where the brakes glaze.

“You can help it, but then as you’re braking in the middle of the braking zone, suddenly the brakes fire up and then you get an instant lock.

“If you keep changing it, after a few laps you get the rhythm, so you know when it starts to grab. So halfway through your braking zone, you can jump off.

“But if you change the position and it comes in a bit earlier, you’re then out of sequence so you have to keep adapting. So that’s the bit where I said ‘just leave it the same so that I have the rhythm of the brake’.”

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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2 comments on ““Hard to accept” losing points finish due to brake problem – Tsunoda”

  1. We certainly heard that

    1. Yuki needs to learn braking when temperatures are changing..

Comments are closed.