Yuki Tsunoda says that he was guilty of “stressing consistently” during his rookie Formula 1 campaign in 2021.
Following a successful year in Formula 2, Tsunoda was signed to AlphaTauri for the 2021 season alongside Pierre Gasly.
Although he showed flashes of speed during the year, he was often criticised for being hot-headed inside the car, which led to a number of profanity-filled and frustrated radio messages.
The Japanese driver was retained for 2022 and states that he learned to defuse himself throughout a race weekend after feeling stress during his rookie campaign.
“For me, I think I would say in general – physical side, mentality side and driving side,” Tsunoda said when asked what areas he improved in 2022.
“I think overall, I’m pretty happy, especially I’ll say, now I’m feeling relaxed in the race week, especially Thursday, Friday, which I didn’t know how to approach and I was stressing consistently, especially last year, rushing everything.
“That makes it a little bit too stressful and can be frustrating, and made it a little bit difficult by myself.
“But now I can kind of be relaxed and I know how to adapt to any situation.”
Tsunoda ended the 2022 season 17th in the Drivers’ Championship, with AlphaTauri suffering a more difficult campaign compared to the year prior.
The 22-year-old is hopeful that he will be able to continue to grow his confidence into 2023, which will be his third season with the Red Bull sister squad.
“[I’m] feeling confidence, good confidence and anything that happens, like the things I didn’t expect, still, I know how to handle it,” he said.
“So yeah, I think overall, this year, I’m pretty happy about how I progressed, every race. And yeah, I think hopefully I can continue or even more, this momentum. And also next year as well.”
Tsunoda will partner Nyck de Vries in 2023 after Pierre Gasly opted to depart and sign with Alpine.
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