Yuki Tsunoda suffered a high-speed spin and crash into the barriers in FP1 and, while he missed almost all of FP2, the AlphaTauri rookie thanked his team for a quick repair job as they managed to get him out at the very end of the session – and explained why he lost the car in first practice.
Tsunoda brought out a red flag in FP1 as he came across a gust of wind that send him across the kerbs into Turn 4, with his AT02 careering backwards into the awaiting barriers. He clocked just one flying lap in FP2, right at the end of the session after his crew worked against the clock to repair the damage. After practice, he gave his reasons for the incident.
“At that time the car [felt] really nervous, especially the rear and [in] high-speed corners. I’m losing compared to my team mate just in high-speed corners; most of the corners was quite OK and some of the corners I was gaining,” he said.
“Just two corners I was losing a lot in high speed and tried to improve myself and went into the wall. Still, I shouldn’t do that, and almost already one-and-a-half, almost one session completely gone. Have to learn from it.”
The Japanese driver took full responsibility for the crash, however, and said that one lap he clocked in FP2, good enough for 17th, was a useful exercise.
“Yes, well I think all is my fault, and mechanics did a really good job,” he continued. “Still, really helpful for me and for the engineers to take the data, even one lap, so yes, I think it was really hard work for the mechanics and really appreciative of them.”
With rain on the horizon and one session lost to repairs, Tsunoda added that he’s going to have to do his preparation off the track in order to catch up for Saturday.
“Yes, conditions could change,” he said. “I don’t know what it’s going to be but have to maximise my preparation today and to the time I lose I have to gain with preparation or something like that and we’ll see what’s going to happen tomorrow.”