‘I like problem children’ – Tost backs Tsunoda after Marko comments as he weighs up Japanese driver’s future
AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost has addressed comments made by Dr Helmut Marko in which the Red Bull and AlphaTauri advisor called Yuki Tsunoda a “problem child”.
After a collision between Tsunoda and team mate Pierre Gasly at Silverstone, Marko made the “problem child” comments to Servus TV, and revealed that a psychologist had been hired to work with the 22-year-old.
Meanwhile, in a recent interview with The Red Bulletin, Marko added on Tsunoda: “We believe in him and his huge potential… When he isn't under stress, he's incredibly funny and likeable. Everyone likes Yuki, even if no one can blow their top quite like he does.”
In Austria, Tost defended his driver.
“I like problem [children] because these are the really good [children] who can make something out of it. I don't like the holy [children]. Yuki made a mistake [in Silverstone]; he knows it and he will work on this. He is still in his development process. He is fast. He was also fast this weekend here. And he will do it his way. It takes a little bit of time.
“If he continues like he did during the season, apart from crashing, I think that he has a good chance to stay with us. It depends on him. If he shows a good performance he will stay, if he doesn't show a good performance, he is out. Totally easy,” added the Team Principal.
After the Silverstone crash between the two AlphaTauri drivers, which saw the drivers make contact and spin, Tost did however add that Tsunoda was “impatient”, as the team boss explained how he dealt with the situation.
“Of course, this was a nightmare for the team. Because the drivers were in positions seven and eight, and we knew that Silverstone is difficult for us, therefore we really were in good positions. And then Yuki got a little bit too impatient, tried to out-brake Pierre, lost the rear and crashed into him.
“And immediately after the race I called Yuki into my office and told him that this is absolutely no-go, and that he has to be more disciplined and patient. This was not the first collision between team mates and will not be the last one – hopefully with us… but nevertheless, this in any way must be avoided.”
Tsunoda also addressed his use of a psychologist in Austria, adding that he’s been using one since his Formula 2 days – but had recently switched to a new mental health professional.
“Well, I had already a psychologist trainer from when I [was in] Formula 2. He did a really, really good job, and I’m really happy for him. We switched to a different psychologist trainer the last four races, last five races. I think, I don’t know, I wouldn’t say it’s working well; I think we have to take a bit more time to understand more better about him, his thinking, and also how it works.
“I think I will say the psychologist things and what happened in the UK was a different thing. This [Silverstone crash] was a complete mistake, so I think hopefully it will help me as well and I know the limitation – it’s super-easy to get frustrated, especially in the car – so I’ll try to work on those things.”