Tsunoda 'sorry' he couldn't score more points in Brazil as AlphaTauri look to chase down Williams
Yuki Tsunoda’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend brought some much needed points to AlphaTauri, as the racer finished P6 in the Sprint and P9 in the race itself. But despite those positive results, Tsunoda was still left believing he could have done more to help cement his team’s place higher up the standings.
The outfit have been bottom of the constructors’ championship for much of the season until a recent uptick in form helped to elevate them off the foot of the table – the team now occupying P8, five points ahead of ninth-placed Alfa Romeo.
With eyes now firmly fixed on chasing down Williams one place above – only seven points separating the teams in a congested area of the constructors’ standings – Tsunoda felt he could have helped narrow that gap even further in Brazil.
The onus on the Japanese driver scoring for AlphaTauri was also higher after team mate Daniel Ricciardo sustained damage in the aftermath of the collision between Alex Albon, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg at the race start. That left the Australian with essentially no chance of impacting the points-scoring places, and had there not been a red flag he wouldn’t have participated in the rest of the race at all.
“I’m happy for scoring points, but I definitely could’ve done more,” said Tsunoda. “I made a mistake in Turn 10, which caused me to lose one position, so I’m really sorry to the team. I think more was possible, especially as we were managing some reliability issues that we’ll look into.
“It’s such a shame about Daniel as well because he was also really fast. I think we both could’ve scored points today. Looking at the positives, starting P16 and ending up P9 shows the strong pace of the car and that we’ve definitely made a big step in the last races since we introduced the upgrades in Austin.”
With just two races of the 2023 season left to play out, all eyes at AlphaTauri will be focused on chasing down Williams and securing P7 – a result that looked improbable for much of this campaign.
“We’re in a good rhythm now, scoring consecutive points in three weeks, and it’s important to keep that momentum for the last two races of the season,” Tsunoda continued.
“We’ll keep extracting performance from the car and aim to continue scoring points, to close the gap to Williams.”