Tsunoda reveals key experience from junior career that could help AlphaTauri get ahead in 2022
Yuki Tsunoda is hoping to use his experience from last season's rookie campaign to help AlphaTauri develop their new 2022 car, the AT03 – the Japanese driver aiming to lend both his rookie, and his F2, experience to the team.
Despite an impressive start to the 2021 season, scoring points on debut in Bahrain, plus a P4 finish in the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi, Tsunoda struggled to match the pace and consistency of his team mate Pierre Gasly in between. Now entering his second F1 season, he's taking on far more responsibility.
“Obviously this year [has] completely new cars for every team,” said Tsunoda. “It's a task that I need to develop the car with my team mate, Pierre, and also with the team. Obviously, [it is a] new experience for me to develop a car this much, but I am really enjoying it currently.”
Along with his experience in Formula 1, the Japanese driver also has experience with the new 18-inch tyres that will be supplied by Pirelli this season, Tsunoda having used them in in Formula 2.
“There is a little bit of experience that I have with the 18-inch tyre [from] two years ago, [I can use] to help the team, but currently all is good, [I'm] looking forward to it.”
Despite Gasly's crash curtailing AlphaTauri's Day 3 running in Barcelona, Tsunoda left Spain feeling positive about the upcoming Official Pre-Season Test in Bahrain on March 10-12 – the final three days of testing before the first Grand Prix of the season.
“I’ve been really excited to get back driving since Abu Dhabi, especially knowing that it’s a whole new car, and I’ve really enjoyed my time getting to know the AT03. There’s still a lot to do ahead of the next test in Bahrain; from my side I need to make some more adaptions to my driving style to suit this new car but overall, it’s been… really positive.
“It’s a shame that I wasn’t able to complete the afternoon session [on Friday] but it’s testing, and these things happen. We’ve still got three days in Bahrain before the first race, so we need to prepare as much as possible ahead of this so that we can start the season off well.”