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Tost sees Tsunoda’s improvement in second F1 season

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 31: Yuki Tsunoda of Scuderia AlphaTauri and Japan during the F1 Grand Prix of Hungary at Hungaroring on July 31, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost believes that Yuki Tsunoda is making an improvement during his second season in Formula 1.

Tsunoda entered the summer break 16th in the Drivers’ Championship with 11 points scored, 5 points less than his teammate Pierre Gasly got. The Japanese driver finished in the top 10 in Bahrain, Imola, and Spain.

“Yuki is improving. I must say his learning gradient is going up,” Tost commented on Tsunoda’s performance in an interview with RacingNews365.com.

“He made a fantastic qualifying at Paul Ricard when he finished eighth. Unfortunately, in the race, [Esteban] Ocon crashed into him in the first lap. Therefore, we had to call him in [to the pits] because the floor was damaged heavily, also the sidepod.

“This was a shame because I’m sure he would have finished good in the points, in seventh or eighth place.

“But anyway, this is racing, and we will see now what’s going on in the second half of the season.”

Tost believes that more time is required to properly evaluate Tsunoda’s performance in F1 in general.

“I’m talking about three years because the first season for such a young driver is just flying away.

“There are so many new things coming to him. Many race tracks he doesn’t know. Then qualifying is always new for him because although he knows the track, this is not the question.

“The question is, how is the sun shining? How much is the temperature changing? What’s the wind doing? All this kind of stuff. You need experience.

“In the second year, he learns all these things a little bit. But to get really deep into the details, he needs a third year, and after three years you have a clear picture of whether a driver can do it or not.”

Tsunoda currently does not have a contract for the 2023 season. Tost admits that the decision will be made by Red Bull.

“This is a decision from Red Bull at the end. Of course, [Tsunoda] has to deliver.

“We also had drivers who didn’t come up with the performance after one or two years and they were then dismissed from Red Bull.”

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