Yuki Tsunoda talks about fitness and confidence being the major issues for him in F1 2021, as he added on 2022 prep but not overdoing it.
For Tsunoda, it all came good in the end. He was announced as an AlphaTauri driver for 2022 at the midpoint of the 2021 campaign. It was an indifferent season which was punctuated by some incidents on track but it all came good for the diminutive Japanese driver with a fighting and impressive drive to 4th at the season ending race in Abu Dhabi.
As the case is, there were good days and bad days during the campaign for the rookie. A tough baptism for him and Tsunoda acknowledged his main issues during the season: “Fitness and confidence. Driving and confidence and understanding about the car was really difficult,” he said.
In fairness as the season went on, one would have expected Tsunoda to have improved his fitness. Yes, F1 cars are a different ball game compared to what he had driven before with it only being his 6th season in the sport. With regard to confidence, as per the top, the Japanese advised this was also an issue.
That is fully understandable as there were times when there was a level of criticism towards him and his driving came under scrutiny. But, the fact that he was announced as an AlphaTauri driver for the season forthcoming earlier than expected would have helped him confidence wise and obviously no matter what, the team saw something in him which was a massive positive and fillip for him.
For 2022, Tsunoda now knows what to do. First of all, his confidence should improve, with AlphaTauri behind him, that will definitely help. Fitness wise, he knows now where he needs to be and what he needs to do to get there too. Arm muscles and neck muscles are two of the integral parts of a drivers body. Of this he has no doubt.
“Of course I needed to train a lot in the winter, especially on the neck but I stuck with what I was doing before or do a bit more and I think the most important thing was not to overdo it. Over-training most things is unnecessary and also we have to take ample rest and recharge for 2022,” summed up Tsunoda.
He knows what to do, he knows how to go about it. He isn’t a rookie anymore and with the new rules and regulation coming into play, don’t rule him out, more consistency in the points and dare he dream of a podium or two? He kick-started his prep with Pierre Gasly at Imola where the two drove the AT01 last week.
Here’s Yuki Tsunoda testing in Imola
Here’s video from Miami GP of Pierre Gasly visit
Here’s Franz Tost on Pierre Gasly
Here’s Yuki Tsunoda on late confidence in 2021