After a difficult Russian GP at Sochi where the AlphaTauri drivers just managed to finish P13 and P17 after the checkered flag, the Modena-based team is ready to face Turkey and Yuki Tsunoda says the arrival of a new simulator being delivered to his home could be a factor that helps him finish the 2021 season in a high point, after a difficult rookie year in F1 where he sits 14th on the standings with 18 points in his bag.
"I've been doing a lot of laps. Of course, it's not quite the same as being in the full-scale sim at Red Bull, which is not like the real thing, but it is the most realistic one I have ever used.
The Japanese driver is being outperformed and outscored by his teammate on strong appearances and by 48 points, facts that made Tsunoda’s position keeping his seat in AlphaTauri doubtful. Having secured his driving for next year, the 21-years-old driver says a new simulator will help him lift his form and therefore improve his racing results.
"The main benefit of the sim is learning about the track and sharpening up my driving. I can also review something that happened in the previous race or I can practice some particular piece of driving. Having the simulator at home now is useful and I can also discuss what I am doing on it with my engineer and simulate a race weekend from FP1 to qualifying, based on plans made by the engineer for me to use, so we can work on it together."
"The last five races I was pretty consistent, but the performance and pace was not so good, so this weekend I think I will try and dial it up a little bit more to be more competitive. Assuming it is dry, this looks like being a physically demanding track with corners like Turn 8. So, it will be tough, but I am looking forward to it."
As there was no F2 race last year there, Yuki Tsunoda faces the Turkish GP racing for the first time ever on Istanbul Park. Pierre Gasly, on the other hand, participated on last year’s race, achieving a final P13. Here’s what the driver sitting 9th on the 2021 standings said ahead of the weekend.
“Last year was my first ever time driving at Istanbul Park. It's a layout I really liked. It's quite unique with interesting corners, a very technical track, complicated when it comes to the driving and I very much enjoyed it last year. It's physically demanding, with corners like the triple left hander at Turn 8 which is never ending.”
“I hope we can be competitive and close the gap to Alpine, who are currently in front of us," the Frenchman concluded.