This track is known for throwing up unexpected twists and turns, and today was no exception.
Qualifying was a very hectic and difficult session, with many red flaga and aborted laps, forcing the teams to adjust their strategy. However, both the teams and the drivers adapted quite well, especially in Q1. Yuki Tsunoda set a fast time in Q2 good enough for P4, and both AlphaTauri drivers qualified for the first time this season in Q3.
They both had a tremendous day today, with Pierre Gasly finishing in P4 and Red Bull's Max Verstappen in P3 only two thousandths of a second behind. Tsunoda was in P8 after his first lap, but on his second lap, he pushed a little too hard, locking up and damaging his front suspension.
Post-qualifying, Tsunoda comments, "It’s a really mixed feeling today, I’ve made good progress here in Azerbaijan through the weekend, which has been really positive and then I made it through to Q3 for the first time."
He continues, "I think there was the potential to be starting the race in a higher position, but I was just pushing too much, and it didn’t pay off today, so obviously I’m disappointed and I just want to apologise to the team."
He concludes, "Tomorrow is a new day though and I think, compared to Monaco, overtaking is a lot easier here so that, combined with a good tyre strategy, could be good for us in the race.”
But it's all part of the learning process, and for the remainder of the weekend, Tsunoda has kept his head down, picked up the pace, and put in a strong showing. Looking ahead to tomorrow's race, there's some work to be done on his car tonight, and the team is working on getting both drivers ready for the race, so the goal is to keep both vehicles in a point-scoring position.