Yuki Tsunoda’s points score on his debut for AlphaTauri in Bahrain proved somewhat of a false dawn. He’s added to his tally since then, but not with the regularity AlphaTauri needs.

Meanwhile Pierre Gasly in the other AT02 has piled up the points to the extent that Tsunoda has the smallest share of any team’s total score.

The newcomer’s problems have often started in qualifying. He’s lagged around half a second off Gasly’s pace on average, and that’s if he didn’t crash, which has also happened too often. As a result Tsunoda has failed to progress beyond Q1 in more than half of the events so far. All in, it’s left him more than six places behind Gasly on average after qualifying – a significant disadvantage.

Tsunoda has been chipping away at the deficit, however. At the Austrian Grand Prix he was 0.16s off his team mate, his closest yet, after revising his approach to practice to build up his speed for qualifying more gradually. But the change of race weekend format at Silverstone disrupted that approach, and in Hungary he did himself no favours with another crash in qualifying

AlphaTauri is the only team besides Red Bull to have scored points in every race weekend this year. Having been propelled to fifth in the standings by Gasly’s windfall result in Azerbaijan, it clung to the place until Hungary, where it slipped to sixth despite delivering its second-best result of the season. Had Sebastian Vettel not been disqualified, they’d be seventh.

The gulf between their drivers points’ scores is a big part of the reason they aren’t as far up the table as arguably they should be. However team principal Franz Tost clearly rates Tsunoda’s speed and is willing to be patient while the 21-year-old builds up his experience of Formula 1 cars and tracks.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Pierre Gasly vs Yuki Tsunoda: Key stats

Pierre Gasly vs Yuki Tsunoda: Who finished ahead at each round

Pierre Gasly vs Yuki Tsunoda: Qualifying gap

Times based on the last qualifying round at each race weekend in which both drivers set a time. Negative indicates Pierre Gasly was faster, positive means Yuki Tsunoda was faster

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2021 F1 season

Browse all 2021 F1 season articles

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *