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‘It’s very frustrating’ – Tsunoda highlights ‘decisive moment’ after narrowly missing out on points in Bahrain

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AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda was left to rue what might have been at the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix, saying a poor start set the tone for a race that yielded no reward.

Tsunoda lined up in 14th position in Sakhir but dropped behind both Williams drivers when the lights went out and struggled to live with their straight-line speed.

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While the Japanese racer managed to clear rookie Logan Sargeant and edge his way up to 11th, he could not quite overhaul Alex Albon for P10 – falling just over a second short at the chequered flag.

Reflecting on his evening at the wheel, Tsunoda said: “The race pace was better than we expected, but at the same time, it’s very frustrating to just miss out on points.

“The start was the decisive moment as I lost some positions to Williams, and their straight-line speed was too strong for us, so we couldn’t manage to overtake them.

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 05: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT04 on

Tsunoda was one place away from the points in Bahrain amid a hotly-contested midfield battle

“I’m happy with my tyre management, although we struggled more than we thought. As soon as we wanted to push, the tyres began to overheat, and I started to slide around and lose the rear.”

Tsunoda fears the next round of the season at Saudi Arabia’s fast, flowing Jeddah Corniche Circuit could be more of a challenge for AlphaTauri – though he is confident that the team can take steps with the AT04.

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“We have more work to do to develop the car so we can consistently fight the midfield, starting with Saudi Arabia,” Tsunoda continued.

“Since we struggled with high-speed performance, Saudi might be difficult, but I’m staying positive as I’m sure the team and I will be able to extract speed from the car to be able to score points.”

Tsunoda’s new team mate, Nyck de Vries, finished a lap down in 14th as he got his first full F1 season under way, with Sargeant and Haas’s Kevin Magnussen the two drivers between them.

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