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Tsunoda says ‘lots of positives’ to take from Monza despite failing to start race

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MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 02: 11th placed qualifier Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Scuderia AlphaTauri

Yuki Tsunoda’s Italian Grand Prix failed to get going when on the formation lap he pulled over to the side of the track as smoke came from his AlphaTauri. However, the Japanese driver was still able to see the positive side of things as he looked forward to Singapore.

Tsunoda was getting set to line up 11th on the grid and was making his way round to Parabolica when cameras showed him pulling over on to the grass as smoke came from his car. This forced an aborted lap before the start of the race was delayed.

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Speaking to the media after the incident, Tsunoda talked through what had happened, explaining: “First of all, I heard something with the sounds from the gearbox, or an engine sound. And after that I didn’t feel any torque or something like that from my engine or the gearbox.

“We don’t know yet. So, we have to look deeply soon, but it’s a shame, a home Grand Prix for us. [The] pace looked really, really nice from the free practice, but anyway, it is what it is.”

Yuki Tsunoda explains his DNF on the formation lap at Monza

Tsunoda had shown strong pace for much of the weekend – finishing ninth in FP1 and fourth in Q1 – and only narrowly missed out on a place in Q3 on Saturday by 0.013s to McLaren’s Lando Norris. And Tsunoda added that the team's speed at Monza was a positive sign ahead of the next few races, starting in Singapore.

“Yeah, lots of positives we can take from this week,” said Tsunoda. “Pace, at least from the last three races, we’ve been pretty consistent.

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“We've had a bit of struggle but we are able to come back stronger the next day. So, that’s kind of our strength, that we can put it all together, extract performance each race, so I’m not worried about that, and looking forward to Singapore.”

Tsunoda and AlphaTauri will be hoping to score points at the next race in Singapore with the Italian outfit currently at the bottom of the constructors’ standings.

One driver who likely won’t be helping their plight is Daniel Ricciardo, however, with Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner suggesting in Monza that it was unlikely the Australian would be fit to drive in Singapore following the broken hand he suffered in Zandvoort – with Liam Lawson set to deputise once more, after finishing P11 in Monza.

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