Tost: Tsunoda needs 3 years to adapt to F1

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA – JULY 04: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Scuderia AlphaTauri prepares to drive on the grid before the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 04, 2021 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost expects Yuki Tsunoda needs 3 years to adapt to a “complicated” Formula 1.

Tsunoda had a mixed first half of the season, as the Japanese managed to score points in Bahrain but then had multiple costly accidents in the following races, including qualifying mistakes.

AlphaTauri’s Franz Tost says that he is happy with the rookie despite these circumstances and says he expects Tsunoda to take three years to adapt to what he called a “complicated” Formula 1.

“Yuki is improving really well and the complete process is absolutely in the right direction,” Tost said.

“You can’t expect that a rookie knows everything from the very beginning onwards. That’s why I always say a young driver needs three years to understand this complicated Formula 1 because Formula 1 has become much complicated than it was years before.

“I am very happy with Yuki,” he continued. “He shows fantastic natural speed and he is improving day by day, session by session. I am quite optimistic that we will see a very good second half of the season and that Yuki will also be successful in the future.”

Tost said Tsunoda’s crash during qualifying of the French Grand Prix is an example of why he says Rookies need time.

“When I remember back to the accident in Paul Ricard when Yuki crashed, we had some understeering problems in FP3 and we decided to give more front wing to do the work on the front suspension.

“He came to this corner, turned in, and then the car reacted a little bit more than expected, came over the curbs and there was also some wind direction change and he crashed. You cannot teach this to a young driver, he has to learn in every qualifying session what to do on this track, and therefore experience is important.

“For these young drivers, it is really difficult to come into Formula 1, because at every race track on every race weekend, they do the first time their qualifying there. Of course you can say they did FP1, FP2, FP3, they must know where to go. But, for example, the wind is increasing or coming from a different direction or the track is hotter or colder.

“The power unit is not only giving you the power, it is helping under braking, with the MGU-K and so on and so on. The young driver has to learn this. And it is not only for one track always the same. Every track [there is] a different way he can use the power unit. And there are different corners… so many things are changing.”

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