Tsunoda says his car was ‘flying’ at Spa as he returns AlphaTauri to the points
Yuki Tsunoda has expressed his satisfaction after getting back into the points-paying positions over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, marking AlphaTauri’s first reward in eight races.
Despite early-season performance concerns at AlphaTauri, Tsunoda enjoyed a personally competitive start to 2023 as he knocked on the door of points with P11 finishes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia before going one better at the Australia and Azerbaijan rounds that followed.
But Tsunoda and the AT04 experienced a fruitless run thereafter, going from the fifth round in Miami to the 11th event in Hungary without scoring another point – leaving the team at the foot of the constructors’ standings.
At Spa-Francorchamps, though, driver and team turned that around with a strong run to 10th, in the process banishing the memories of a difficult Sprint race the day before that saw Tsunoda cross the line as the final finisher in 18th.
“First of all, the team did a fantastic job,” said Tsunoda post-race. “The car was flying, the pit stop was really, really quick. I think everyone did a good job, especially Bicester side in the factory in the UK, and also in Italy.
“Obviously for myself I’m happy to be back in the shape I had in the first half of the season, the beginning, I would say. Especially the last two times there was opportunity to score points but unfortunately I couldn’t score points.
“Since then I struggled a little bit, but yeah, I’m definitely happy, this is the way to finish [going into] the summer break.”
Tsunoda, whose new team mate – Daniel Ricciardo – wound up 16th, went on to comment: “Especially [Saturday] was a really horrible day, so I didn’t want to keep that kind of feeling into the summer break.
“Obviously I knew that I started a little bit… My performance slightly went down, slightly went worse since Barcelona probably, and obviously a lot of limitations also for things I recognise… The amount of things I have to improve.
“But again, I want to keep it all clean and keep it all together, especially today. I was happy, definitely, and feeling ready for the second half of the season.”
Despite Tsunoda’s point, AlphaTauri remain 10th and last in the constructors’ battle, six points away from Alfa Romeo and a further two points away from Williams and Haas.