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F1 | AlphaTauri's technical chief, Jody Egginton: Tsunoda is already making a valuable contribution

Jody Egginton: Yuki Tsunoda making a valuable contribution to AlphaTauri's car development

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F1 | AlphaTauri's technical chief, Jody Egginton: Tsunoda is already making a valuable contribution
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Yuki Tsunoda is one of the three rookies this 2021 season, driving alongside Pierre Gasly in AlphaTauri, making a solid debut in the Bahrain GP finishing 9th place with 2 points.

Yuki has raced in different categories including the Formula 4 Japanese Championship and Formula 3, last year in Formula 2 with Carlin he finished 3rd in the championship with 3 wins, 7 podiums and 200 points.

AlphaTauri's technical chief, Jody Egginton, said:

"Pierre is a solid reference back to last year, and he's able to tell us in detail what's changed, what's better, what's worse, so that's good," 

"That combined with the correlation, it helps us potentially answer some of the questions Yuki might have. Because we'll say, 'okay, that's expected, that's not expected, we're going to work on this.' So it steadies the ship a little bit.

"At the same time, [Tsunoda is] also raising some questions, which are [like] 'OK, that's quite an interesting thought'. The way he drives the car is a little bit different to Pierre and that opens up some other questions.

"So it's a bit of a mix, really. The key point is that he's got the speed, and he has got the speed, to be able to contribute."

Tsunoda is the first driver to score points in his F1 debut since 2016 (Stoffel Vandoorne 10th place at 2016 Bahrain GP).

Yuki joined the Red Bull's young driver programme in 2019 alongside the Honda programme.

"His speed was not in doubt from F2," Egginton said. 

"He deserves this shot. He's on a very steep learning curve, as with any young driver is coming into the Formula 1 world, but he's taking it step by step.

"He's absorbing a lot of information, and he's communicating well, and we're understanding what he wants from the car. He's working well with an engineering team. He's a quick learner.

"We had a few ups and downs [in Bahrain]. He's been very quick. We had a few little issues with the car, and he's taken that in his stride. It's frustrating for him as it is for everybody. If it wasn't frustrating for him, that would be a worry, actually. But he bounced back from it.

"It's really refreshing with the young guys in the team. I quite enjoy the challenge, and the team is good at it. Without being big headed, the team's good at working with young drivers.

"We're going to have ups and downs, but he's delivering and I think that's important because we're firmly in the midfield it appears, so it's good."

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