After a dramatic end to the qualifying session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez track, Yuki Tsunoda felt happy with his ninth position result. The Japanese driver went off track in the last minutes of the qualifying session, that ultimately cost both Red Bull drivers a chance at beating Mercedes for a front row lockout. Tsunoda will start from the back of the grid for the Mexico GP alongside Lando Norris after taking new PU components.
The AlphaTauri team knew Tsunoda would face a back-of-the-grid penalty during the FP1 session prior to qualifying, and relied on team strategy to help ensure Tsunoda’s teammate Pierre Gasly would deliver a solid result for the starting grid of the race.
“I’m happy overall with today’s performance. My main goal for Qualifying was to help my teammate, due to the penalty I’ll have for tomorrow’s race, and I think as a team we did a really good job as we continue our fight for 5th in the Championship,” replied Tsunoda.
“I think we’ve shown that the pace is there this weekend, so I’m aiming to make my way forward tomorrow in the race and looking towards the points.”
While Red Bull team principal Christian Horner expressed his frustration with the twenty-one-year-old driver saying: “I think we got Tsunoda'd!”, Guillaume Dezoteux, Head of Vehicle Performance at Alpha Tauri praised Tsunoda for his exemplary teamwork that helped Gasly achieve a solid fifth-place result in the qualifying session.
“Thanks to Yuki helping Pierre with a tow in Q2 and Q3 we have been able to secure fifth place on the grid. This is a fantastic achievement for the team and shows the strength of our package here in Mexico. Yuki will start further back as he has taken a complete, new power unit.”
“He’s beaten some of our direct competitors who were in the same situation, so this is very good. Now we need to convert this great pace into many points tomorrow as the fight with Alpine for fifth place in the constructor championship is tighter than ever.”