Yuki Tsunoda has claimed that he is receiving penalties more often than other Formula 1 drivers after again being punished by the stewards at the Dutch Grand Prix.
The AlphaTauri driver received a five-second time penalty and two penalty points on his license after coming together with George Russell during Sunday’s race at Zandvoort.
The pair clashed as Russell, who had been working his way back towards the top ten after a strategic blunder from Mercedes dropped him down the order, attempted a move on Tsunoda around the outside at Turn 1.
The stewards placed the blame at the AlphaTauri driver’s door, with their report reading: “Tsunoda was on the dirty inside line and having braked later he then understeered into Russell. The stewards determined that Tsunoda was predominantly at fault for the collision.”
The 23-year-old, however, disagreed with the decision, believing he is on the receiving end more often than others.
“I mean, that’s racing. I didn’t feel like it was aggressive,” he said after the race. I don’t think we touched in the end. But I’m the one who always gets penalties.”
Tsunoda had found himself in trouble with the stewards earlier in the weekend when he was found to have impeded Lewis Hamilton during qualifying. He was handed a three-place grid penalty for the offence.
The penalty dropped Tsunoda to 17th on the grid but despite the lowly starting position, he found himself with a chance at scoring points when he was one of a handful of drivers that made the switch to Intermediates on the opening lap.
However, his hopes of a top-10 finish faded when he was left to suffer for 50 laps on a set of Softs until the next rain shower came.
“I think the strategy we took, staying out on the soft tyre, we all agreed on. In free practice, the soft looked good and I don’t think we expected such a disadvantage between the used and new [soft] tyre,” he explained.
“The pace was quite a lot different to what we expected, so in the end it didn’t pay off but I enjoyed battling the other drivers.”
With the time penalty applied at the end of the race, the AlphaTauri driver was classified 16th, behind his debutant team-mate Liam Lawson.
“[It’s] a shame we weren’t able to maximise the performance, in qualifying especially,” he rued.
“Definitely there was pace but at least we showed the pace in the car and at least we showed a bit of opportunity in the race so optimistic for next weekend.”