Yuki Tsunoda is delighted with his French GP performance, but admits that he needs to do better in qualifying.

After a fantastic debut in Bahrain, good results in qualifyings and races have been hard to come by for the AlphaTauri rookie Tsunoda. Azerbaijan was the next place where Tsunoda got points and he hoped for the same in France, but the Q1 crash changed everything. He lost the car in the middle of the first corner on his first try. That meant he qualified P20 and had a tough race on his hands. He did well to recover to P13, but wonders what could have been with a good qualifying.

“Yes, for the mileage, for the experience, I do think this is a good step, to finish the race in this rookie season, and we need lots of mileage to complete and learn about the race, which is positive.”

“But I have to improve the qualifying to start [in a] better position to have a chance more for finishing in the points. I have to learn from this, and just have to improve it.”

His race pace in the French GP was good after the start from the pit lane.

“The first lap was really good from the pit lane but after that, I was stuck behind an Alfa Romeo with a different compound. We expected it would be difficult to overtake from the first stint, so we tried to undercut with the hard tyre – so basically, I had to push from the beginning, and I used quite a lot of tyre [life].”

“It paid off at the end of the session and yes, the tyre was completely gone at the end.” 

As the season progresses, Tsunoda will only gain experience from his past races, and the next two events are at the Red Bull Ring, where he has had some success in junior categories with a pole position and a P2 finish in Formula 2 last year.

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