Motor racing - Tsunoda surprised to keep his F1 seat

Formula One F1 - Italian Grand Prix - Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Monza, Italy - September 9, 2021 AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda during a press conference Pool via REUTERS/Luca Bruno

(Reuters) - Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda said on Thursday he was surprised to have been retained by his AlphaTauri Formula One team for another year.

The Italy-based outfit confirmed an unchanged lineup of Tsunoda and Frenchman Pierre Gasly, winner of last year's Italian Grand Prix, ahead of this weekend's home race at Monza.

Tsunoda, 21, had said last week that he rated his chances of staying at 50-50.

"From my side I was a bit surprised I'll be staying next year. So first of all, thanks for the team," the Honda-backed driver told reporters at Monza.

Asked why, he explained: "Because I just keep crashing and cost the team a lot of money.

"I was not on a good way to end up the first half of the season, especially in Hungary when I went to the wall in FP1 (first practice) and ruined a whole session, almost two sessions.

"You need a more consistent result and more driving, and also discipline in the sessions. I couldn't improve through the first half of the season, and that's why."

Tsunoda scored points on his debut in Bahrain in March and impressed many observers but he said some of that confidence had evaporated with the growing number of mistakes.

He said he would have to be more consistent next year.

"I didn't expect it to be that difficult in Formula One, because even in junior categories if I had a massive slap or went to the wall I never had this much losing confidence," he said.

"So that's one main issue. That's why I'm building up and trying to have more consistent laps, and consistent sessions."

Tsunoda has scored in five of 13 races so far and is 13th in the championship.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ken Ferris)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Others

Olympics-Canadians competing in Beijing must be vaccinated against COVID-19
Serie A involves sports media agencies to cut TV revenue shortfall - sources
Olympics-Brisbane 2032 Games spend likely to exceed A$5bn - Minister
Olympics-Team USA to have plenty of mental health support in Beijing
No breathing space for athletes with SEA Games confirmation
Malaysian sailing goes up a notch with SSL Gold Cup participation
Vietnam SEA Games pushed back to May 2022 due to Covid-19 concerns, says OCM
Dodgers, Max Scherzer favored to even NLCS at Braves in Game 2
Rallying-Neuville wins in Spain as WRC title battle goes to wire
Saudi Arabia to allow sports fans to attend full-capacity events

Others Also Read