Yuki Tsunoda says he is working on his tyre management limitation along with handling of the F1 car while in dirty air, which was better in British GP.
For AlphaTauri’s Tsunoda, in his rookie year, it really is all about adapting to F1 and the intricacies of the same. Its been decent so far where he has scored 10 points, which includes a debut points finish in Bahrain and an impressive seventh at Baku.
He had another point scored in 10th in British GP, but that point was hard earned in more ways than one. A different weekend of course with FP1 only on Friday and then Qualifying, followed by FP2 and new Sprint Qualifying format following then.
One of the issues Tsunoda stated that he has had so far has been within tyre management and an inconsistent balance – especially in the dirty air of a car. For Silverstone, AlphaTauri tried a number of new initiatives, which appeared to help him in the right direction.
“I just focused on my tyre management [at the start of the weekend],” said Tsunoda to written media. “I had a very good confidence for tyre management at Silverstone. So, I just tried to stick to the plan. I expected it was going to be tough for following the car behind. I tried to manage the tyres as much as possible.
“When I got free air I just tried to push as much as I could and that worked well for the strategy, especially first stint. That was it,” summed up Tsunoda, who then explained about his troubles following a car, which he is still learning.
“Free air is really good, I think,” said Tsunoda. “In free air, I was always having a quite neutral balance. But as soon as I got dirty air, I was having an inconsistent balance a lot and I was struggling to drive properly. So, we have to work hard there to have more overtakes or whatever. That’s the main limitation for now.”
In fairness, all cars should be running well in clean air, or free as Tsunoda states. However, a number of other drivers did advise of serious enough issues with dirty air on Sunday in the race. As a race though, Silverstone appears to have been a race that he drove well in.
He drove consistently but not just that, he drove smartly and intelligently and with his head as opposed to his feet. He worked the car well, knew when to push, knew when to be conservative. In short, he worked the car well.
“I think for the tyre management, it was really good,” said Tsunoda. “I think the last race in Austria, I was saving too much and I was just too slow. I tried to improve this for Silverstone. First stint I pushed flat out almost, especially after second stint and I changed to hard tyre. With a little bit more tyre management, it all worked well for here. I just keep that experience and use it for the future.”
For Hungary next week, what Tsunoda may consider once more is comparing and contrasting his British GP to the previous race at the Red Bull Ring and how he managed tyres and air. He is learning and learning fast.
The article was written by Neil Farrell
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