AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda has admitted that the opening half of his maiden Formula 1 season didn’t match his pre-season expectations.
After picking up points on his debut in Bahrain, the Japanese driver endured a rough stint and was involved in a number of on-track incidents, as well as Q1 exits and point-less race results.
However, Tsunoda enjoyed a strong end to the opening half of the 2021 season, scoring four top 10 results in the previous six races, including a career-best sixth at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Tsunoda holds 13th in the standings, on 18 points, five spots and 32 points adrift of experienced team-mate Pierre Gasly.
“The first half of the season overall was really interesting and enjoyable, many things about it were unexpected for me,” Tsunoda said.
“It did not really match with what I had thought it might be like before the season started. There were lots of ups and downs and at times my performance was very inconsistent.
“But overall, I am quite happy because I managed to score points, helping Scuderia AlphaTauri to be the only team to score points in every race so far this year. We need to keep that going now as we start the second half of the year.
“After Hungary, I headed straight for the simulator in Milton Keynes to do the correlation for Hungaroring and also look at the next three tracks.
“Then I went to Italy and spent time sorting out my new home, which is very near to the factory in Faenza. I was definitely ready for a break and I enjoyed it.”
Tsunoda will resume his season this weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, home of the Belgian Grand Prix – a track that he won at last year during his Formula 2 campaign.
“It’s great that we start racing again at Spa, because I have very good memories from this track,” Tsunoda said.
֧“Last year in Formula 2, I won the Feature Race starting from pole position and the year before that in Formula 3, it was here that I got my first podium in the category.
“I like the track, so I am looking forward to it and I think it will be one of the circuits that will feel extra special in a Formula 1 car for the first time, it will be an especially interesting experience to see how an F1 car goes through Eau Rouge.”