Yuki Tsunoda has learnt how to handle things and adapt to different situations as he gains experience in F1 over the years.
After being targeted for his fitness in his starting years in F1 alongside his mental stability, AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda says he has grown how to handle things and adapt to different situations with the experience he has gained in these years.
He feels strong too and some of it can be seen in the course of the three races in F1 2023 where he has looked more as a leader and in charge of the situation despite the shortcomings that AlphaTauri has on the car side.
“The place I feel much stronger compared to previous years will be situation controlling, I know now how to survive or to adapt to any situation,” said Tsunoda in AlphaTauri’s Q&A. “Even when the worse things happen or the things I didn’t expect, I know now how to handle it. First year especially, I didn’t have any experience in Formula 1.
“Most of the things were new and, especially from Formula 2 to Formula 1, it’s a really big step. Of course, the car, the environment, everything is a big difference. But now I know how to relax or the places I have to focus properly. Those kinds of mental things I feel much different. Even training, of course.
“I was doing training in Formula 3, Formula 2, but I would say how I think about training, and how I approach the training session, is a little bit different mentality than in Formula 3 and Formula 2,” summed up Tsunoda, who further admitted that F1 is far more physically demanding and it took him a while to understand that.
In 2021, AlphaTauri moved him closer to the factory in Faenza to better his training programme and raise his fitness levels. “I felt Formula 1 is really physically demanding,” said Tsunoda. “While it was one of my big limitations in my first year in Formula 1 in 2021 – those things I learned from other drivers but also learned from myself.
“And I think in the end those kinds of things have improved a lot. So, I’m pretty happy with my shape now. Of course, physical. I think the physical thing is almost unlimited. You can train as much as you want, the more you have strength. It’s better. Also, a bit more consistency in terms of race pace,” summed up Tsunoda.
Speaking of improvements from last year to this, the Japanese notes how he wishes to be more consistent with results and avoid crashes which could disrupt the rhythm. He knows every result is important for the team considering the lack of pace.
“Last year if I look back, I had a couple of crashes that were unnecessary,” continued Tsunoda. “There was potential to score points, and I lost that. I feel like last year, in a situation where the team needed every single point especially because we were struggling in the pace, and those things hurt a lot in the end.
“In the end we finished P9 in the team championship, but we were definitely far away from where we expected and where we wanted. Definitely consistency is one of the keys that I want to improve this year. Other than that, I am pretty happy, like I said, about my shape and how I progressed through the season. From last year I think I have pretty good confidence that I can continue that momentum and be a good driver.”
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