Canadian Grand Prix – Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), the embarrassing crash and F1 on slippery ground

Travel to the “cool room”. On Sunday, just after battling through the final 15 laps of the Canadian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz chatted in this relaxation room where, before F1 decided to film everything, the drivers could discreetly exchange their impressions. Now everything is public.

The winner and his runner-up are seated in an armchair, in front of a screen broadcasting the highlights of the race in a loop, including Yuki Tsunoda’s astonishing crash that led to the safety car exit. †There’s a bump thereanalyzes Sainz. She scared me all weekendYes, I braked before, thinking there wasn’t much grip here‘, Verstappen agrees.

Canadian Grand Prix

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What dismisses the Japanese driver who, it must be said, found himself in a very embarrassing situation? Not necessarily, to hear Lewis Hamilton’s reaction during his visit to the “cool room”: “What ? It happened in the pit lane!?“Tsunoda herself wasn’t looking for an excuse, by the way.”I just pushed too hard on the exit and unfortunately hit the wallhe explained. The pace was good today […] so i’m disappointed. I apologized to the whole team

Although unusual, the incident did not provoke more reactions from the actors. And will remain anecdotal on the scale of the season. After all, pilots are people and to err is… human. Yet it is not entirely coincidental that Tsunoda was the author of this astonishing clumsiness.

I was playing PlayStation, then I ordered food…

The AlphaTauri driver has only a year and a half of experience and ended up in the elite after a fast climb – he went from F4 to F1 in three years – under pressure from Honda, for whom having a Japanese driver in the discipline was an important point matter.

In the slump of Japanese motorsport, Tsunoda was an exception: author of 4 poles and 3 victories in F2, 3rd in the championship in his first season, the driver born in 2000 also stood out for his ease of overtaking. Enough to convince parent company Red Bull to promote him to the B team, making some concessions to the exacting criteria that governed its strategy.

“Ferrari is paid with words, their plan is to constantly improvise”

Because apart from a certain talent for the “pure race”, the pocket pilot had not much left in the royal sport. He willingly admitted that in his youth he was not passionate about running, struggled to control a very exaggerated character, and that his physical condition was much less adapted to the demands of an athlete than to those of a teenager: “I was playing PlayStation and then I was ordering foodhe said last year. Then I played PlayStation again. Then I would order food again

All this forced Franz Tost, boss of the AlphaTauri team, to take drastic measures to accompany his pilot. So the Japanese, living in Great Britain, had to move to Italy, a few kilometers from the factory in Faenza. He still follows a particular trainer’s recommendations to keep his diet and physical shape in check. And also works on his impulsiveness, to reduce the number of birds waved on the radio, both in competition and in free practice.

Create uncertainty

Progress is underway. From now on, his engineer hears the anger of the Japanese less… since he no longer systematically presses the communication button. A year and a half after his arrival in F1, Tsunoda is still not a finished product. And that comes as no surprise to anyone.

“Mercedes had already raised the alarm with Lauda”

You can’t expect a rookie to know everything from the start.Tost recalled last July. That’s why I always say that it takes a young driver three years to understand this F1, because F1 has become more complicated than before

This is F1 with Verstappen sauce where every manufacturer, after seeing the exploits of a precocious talent, tried to find the new wunderkind. Sometimes by forcing the passage. This is how the set, already invested by the sons of billionaires, agreed to no longer have the 20 fastest men in the world. But one day, pilots will probably be a part of it. Or not.

A problem ? Not really. Young drivers, with a greater potential for identification with the public, learn by making mistakes that themselves create uncertainty for a sport that has long since lost them. On Sunday, without the Tsunoda incident, Carlos Sainz would not have been able to tickle Max Verstappen for fifteen laps. And there would have been one less topic of conversation in the cool room.

Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) gets out of his car after his crash during the Canadian Grand Prix

Credit: Image

Canadian Grand Prix

“Ferrari is paid with words, their plan is to constantly improvise”


Canadian Grand Prix

“Mercedes had already raised the alarm with Lauda”