Miami GP definitely won’t equal fond memories for Tsunoda. After a great 7th place at Imola, the first race on the US soil this year seen the Japanese driver completely without pace, that eventually led him dropping from 9th to 12th position on the grid. After a good point-scoring Emilia-Romagna GP, that meant no points for Tsunoda.
The first 10 laps were crucial to his degrading pace, and after his pitstop, he dropped down to 19th on the grid. He made his way back up to 13th and was promoted to 12th after Ricciardo’s 5s penalty.
The youngster was definitely not impressed. As he said after the race: “Literally no pace and no grip at all from the beginning, really struggled to keep up the pace. It was the complete opposition to last time, I would say it was very similar towards Australia, just grain the tyre from lap 2 onwards and just really struggled to keep up the pace, so we just really have to analyse the data and [see] what was the issue there.”
The team really needs to come together and assess why Tsunoda struggled so much there. Jody Egginton, AlphaTauri’s technical director said that Yuki’s soft-tyres stint was the strongest, but he had a very difficult time finding his way with the hards and mediums.
As he said after the GP: “Yuki struggled in the first stint, so we gambled on an early stop but the pace and car balance in his second stint was also inconsistent, meaning it was difficult to make sufficient progress.
“We need to go through all the data to understand the reasons behind these issues. Yuki managed to show some better pace in his final stint on the soft tyre, but by this point we were running out of laps to move forward further, and he finished out of the points.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us before we arrive in Barcelona. We need to understand the various factors behind today’s performance, so we can move forward with our package and get back to scoring points.”
With Spanish GP next, the team really needs to get on top of these issues. After Pierre also failed to score points in Miami, due to a crash with Norris, AlphaTauri is heading to Barcelona 7th in the Championship Standings.