There was disappointment for Yuki Tsunoda at the French Grand Prix as his race was ruined almost immediately.
Running in P9 on the opening lap after losing a spot to Ricciardo, he was battling with Esteban Ocon into turn 8. The Frenchman tried an ambitious move up the inside, but ended up hitting the AlphaTauri into a spin.
In spite of Ocon receiving a 5-second penalty for the incident, Tsunoda’s race was destroyed as his car had significant damage. AlphaTauri retired his car on lap 17.
“So frustrating,” stated the Japanese driver to MotorLAT and other media outlets on the collision. “I watched back the onboard at turn 8. I think I gave enough space. I saw he was losing control in entry; he had massive understeer mid-corner and just smashed into me. Nothing I could do to be honest.
“It’s such a shame looking at the race today, with Leclerc retiring – and I think a top 8 was easily possible.”
AlphaTauri brought an update package to Paul Ricard as they attempted to move up the pecking order following an extremely difficult run of races where they lacked pace. Tsunoda had shown the promise of it by getting into Q3.
“I think also for the team, really frustrating that we didn’t score any points this race after big updates. I feel really sorry for the team.
“But at the same time, I think I did the best I could do this weekend. What happened in the race was just really unfortunate.
“We had a good car, so stay calm and be positive.”
Tsunoda will have an immediate chance to bounce back this weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Japanese star is hopeful of a good weekend.
“I’m looking forward to it. [It’s] kind of medium and high speed, and also there’s kind of slow speed corners as well.
“Slow speed corners in general, we are having good feelings from the beginning of the season, like for example in Azerbaijan. We performed well there.
“I think the last race before the summer break, anything can happen like [it did] in Hungary last year. So just stay strong.”