Yuki Tsunoda says one-stop was as per plan in F1 Abu Dhabi GP but it was tough, as he was surprised to find himself in the lead.

Having qualified sixth for F1 Abu Dhabi GP, there was some sense of fear at Williams about AlphaTauri managing to cut the seven points gap to beat them for seventh. Tsunoda looked good in the first stint as well, where he managed to lead the grand prix too.

But that was down to his strategy. He was actually surprised to be leading the grand prix as he did not expect that to happen which he reckons shows how much AlphaTauri has done in the year but Tsunoda was sad he couldn’t gift seventh to Franz Tost.

“I gave it everything,” said Tsunoda to media. “To be honest, I didn’t know I was leading the pack, so I was quite surprised about it. Looking back, at the start of the season, we never thought about it, where we’re leading the pack. So it’s a massive, massive improvement and without the team efforts we couldn’t achieve this much.

“The amount they pushed this year, almost every race we had upgrades and it was crazy and they deserved it. I wasn’t able to give the biggest gift to Franz, but I gave it all. So my performance was in appreciation to him,” summed up Tsunoda.

The one-stop strategy that he undertook was as per the plan that AlphaTauri discussed but he couldn’t hang onto sixth where he started the race. On the last lap too, he had to fend off Lewis Hamilton to retain eighth to be close to Williams at least.

He was the only one to undertake one-stop and score points, but Tsunoda feels even on the other strategy, he wouldn’t have finished any higher. “It was the plan, but we knew that it was going to be difficult,” he said. We were listening to what the tyres say and they held on quite well in the first stint.

“That helped, I think that was a key moment. I think in the end, what we did on the strategy itself was okay. Even if I did the same exact same strategy as the top teams, I don’t know if we’re able to finish P6 anyway. So I think we don’t have regrets,” summed up Tsunoda.

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