F1 | Tsunoda tried to keep Hamilton behind for as much as possible as he wants “want Max to win in the last year of Honda”
Rookie Yuki Tsunoda made it through Q3 for the third time this season at Istanbul Park on Saturday and started well to sit eighth early on ahead of Hamilton.
The young AlphaTauri driver managed to keep the Briton back for a number of laps with some solid defending, halting the Mercedes’ driver’s recovery drive caused by a ten-position grid penalty for a changed PU.
Despite some incredible defensive moves, Tsunoda had to eventually succumb to Hamilton’s expertise and talent. The British champion was eventually able to make a pass on lap eight around the outside of Turn 3, with Tsunoda then dropping out of the points after spinning on lap 22.
Tsunoda commented on his race saying: “It’s a real shame today, as I think I could’ve been in a position to finish in the top 10. I used too much tyre early on, battling with Hamilton”, however, he has claimed he wanted to do everything he could to help Honda-powered Verstappen’s title bid for Red Bull before the Japanese manufacturer’s exit from F1 at the end of the season.
“I want Max to win in the last year of Honda, and for Red Bull as well,” Tsunoda said.
“So I tried to hold Lewis up as much as possible, for I don’t know how many laps. I was trying to save more of my tyre. I tried to hold him behind for 20 laps. Eight laps is not enough.”
He explained that the dirty spray – something that even Haas’ Nikita Mazepin and Mclaren’s Lando Norris noted – made him think a car was close behind, prompting him to push harder.
“I couldn’t see anything because of dirt and dust,” Tsunoda said.
“I just couldn’t see, I thought there was a car right behind me so I just have to push, and I spun.
Enjoyed the race till the spin??
Really sorry to the team for missing an opportunity to score points, but overall positive weekend and looking forward to the next??
— ????/Yuki Tsunoda (@yukitsunoda07) October 11, 2021
“Today was another big learning curve for me, completing so many laps on the Intermediate tyres,” the Japanese addes,
“But I’m disappointed as I was really hoping to get points to help the team in the championship”.
Tsunoda regretted the lost points as AlphaTauri pushed to catch Alpine for fifth place in the constructors’ championship, with the gap being 12 points after Turkey.
“It was an opportunity to get us big points compared to other teams,” he said.
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October 13, 2021 at 08:49AM