Tsunoda said after competing for points in Jeddah that he “expected much worse”

Before being passed by Kevin Magnussen in the penultimate lap of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, AlphaTauri racer Yuki Tsunoda came very close to securing a top-ten finish.
AlphaTauri Yuki Tsunoda 2023

Following the team’s underwhelming 2023 Formula 1 season debut, Yuki Tsunoda came very close to earning AlphaTauri’s first points of the year at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Japanese racer succeeded in climbing up the starting line from 15th on the grid into the top six thanks to the Safety Car, before slipping down in the closing stages due to a lack of speed.

Tsunoda stated after the race that he had to put forth more effort in the first sector of the lap to extend the distance to rivals, but that it was difficult for him to keep them behind due to the AT04’s loss of downforce in critical corners and its loss of straight-line speed.

Tsunoda told the media, including RacingNews365.com, “I gave it my 100 per cent effort for every lap and still lost positions like that in the end, in that last few laps which is really frustrating.”

“We just lost too much pace on the straights and a couple of corners that require downforce.

“[I] just had to kind of push it 100 per cent effort in sector one to maximise the pace from our car to make the gap as much as possible.”

AlphaTauri must gain “a couple of tenths” to compete with the top 10

Despite being one of only two teams in 2023 without a point, Tsunoda thinks AlphaTauri can compete for a spot in the top 10 with just “a couple of tenths.”

“I expected much worse than that, so a good job also from the engineers [and] mechanics. We just need a couple of tenths,” he said.

“I think [there is] frustration for all of us. At least I gave my efforts and extracted performance from the car as much as possible. And fighting close to the points, so at least I gave excitement to the team.

“So hopefully we can develop through the year and score points.”

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F1, F1 2022, FIA, Formula 1, Grand Prix, AlphaTauri, Yuki Tsunoda, Kevin Magnussen

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