As the grid is preparing for the Monaco Grand Prix, Yuki Tsunoda will have to face a true challenge driving around the streets of the principality for the first time ever. The Japanese explained what will help him acquire confidence.
So far, the 2021 season was tumultuous for Tsunoda. After a good performance in Bahrain, finishing in P9, the 21-year-old never scored any points again. Moreover, the Japanese had questionable comments towards his team after a Q1 exit in Spain that made him lose a lot of popularity.
“Spain was a difficult weekend for me,” Tsunoda admitted. “I was not happy with my driving in qualifying and made a mistake, but I must learn to accept that these things can happen and move on. I have only done four race weekends in F1 so far and now I am just resetting my mind. I am focusing on my driving and adapting as much as possible to the car.”
This week, the Formula 1 grid is traveling to Monaco for what is mostly considered as the hardest Grand Prix of the calendar for rookies, considering the narrowness of the track, leaving absolutely no space for mistakes.
Tsunoda will drive for the first time ever in Monaco, making the task even more challenging for him. The AlphaTauri driver has done a lot of simulation work to acquire confidence, which is an absolute key to performance in the principality.
Moreover, the Japanese will also count on his experience at the Macao Grand Prix, which also takes place on a very narrow street circuit.
“I’ve never raced in Monaco in any category.
“There are many unusual factors about this weekend and it was only while we were in Spain that I learned that you practice on Thursday with no track time on Friday.”
“But I have raced in Macau for example, so I have quite a bit of experience on street circuits. They’re okay. You need a very different approach on a street circuit like Monaco, especially considering I have never been there before. Track evolution is a big factor there, with very low grip at first and then it changes with every session.”
“I have spent a lot of time on the simulator to prepare. Our car has not always been at its best in the slow corners, which is what we will face in Monaco, but I think that even if the car is obviously important, the main factor will be how much I can adapt to the track.”
“I will have to make sure I do not lose focus or concentration, but I’m sure I can adapt.”
“During practice, I will be trying to give the engineers as much good feedback as possible to help them set up the car, while I focus just on my driving. Qualifying will be about having confidence in the car because that is even more important than usual on a street circuit. The key will be not to make any mistakes in FP1 or FP2 in order to maximize my time on track.”