Canadian Grand Prix: Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Shameful crash and slippery F1

Trip to the “cool room”. On Sunday, just after fighting the last 15 laps of the Canadian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz chatted in this relaxation room where, before F1 decided to film it all, the drivers could exchange their impressions with total discretion. Now everything is public.

The winner and his runner-up are seated in an armchair, in front of a screen that loops the highlights of the race, including the shocking crash of Yuki Tsunoda that caused the safety car to leave. “There is a blowanalysis Sainz. It scared me all weekend. “”Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either“, agrees Verstappen.

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

Unusually, the incident did not provoke further reactions among the actors. And it will remain anecdotal on the scale of the season. After all, pilots are human and making a mistake is … human. However, it is no coincidence that Tsunoda was the perpetrator of this astonishing awkwardness.

I was playing on PlayStation, then I ordered food …

The AlphaTauri driver has only a year and a half of experience and landed among the elite after an express ascent – he went from F4 to F1 in three years -, pushed by Honda, for whom he has a Japanese pilot in the discipline was important. subject.

In the fall 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 in the advances. It is enough to convince the Red Bull matrix to promote it to Team B. Making some concessions to the demanding criteria that governed its strategy.

“Ferrari pays with words, its plan is to constantly improvise”

Because, apart from a certain talent for the “pure race”, the pocket rider did not have much more to be found in the sport king. He gladly admitted that during his childhood he was not passionate about running, he struggled to control a very excessive character and his physical condition was much less adapted to the demands of an athlete than to those of a teenager: “I was playing on PlayStation, then I ordered fooddetailed last year. Then I played PlayStation again. Then I would ask for food again. “

All this forced Franz Tost, head of the AlphaTauri team, to take drastic measures to supervise his pilot. The Japanese, who lived in Britain, had to move to Italy, a few miles from the Faenza factory. He still follows the recommendations of a private trainer to monitor his diet and fitness. And it also works its impulsiveness, in order to reduce the number of balanced bird names on the radio, in the race as in free practice.

Create uncertainty

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

“With Lauda, ​​Mercedes would have sounded the alarm earlier”

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

This is the F1 with Verstappen sauce where, after seeing the exploits of an early talent, each manufacturer tried to find the new prodigy. Sometimes forcing the step. That’s how the set, already invested by the children of billionaires, agreed to no longer have the 20 fastest men in the world. But the pilots will probably be part of it, someday. Or not.

A problem? Not really. Young drivers, with a greater potential for identification with the public, learn by making mistakes that, in themselves, create uncertainty for a sport they have long lacked. 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 conversation point in the cool room.

Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) gets out of his car after his accident at the Canadian Grand Prix

Credit: Imago

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