After a troubled start to his F1 career with AlphaTauri, Yuki Tsunoda's form has been on the rise in recent races. Making it into Q3 at the Styrian Grand Prix, Tsunoda starts from 11th as the result of a grid penalty, but technical director Jody Egginton believes his turnaround in form is evident.
Tsunoda was recently moved by Red Bull from the UK to Italy, in order for AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost to monitor him and keep him on a tightly controlled leash of training and learning, and Egginton believes this move is proving critical in how he's integrating into the team and Formula 1.
"I think the move to Italy and basing his training out of Italy, and spending a lot more time in the factory is definitely bringing rewards," Egginton told select members of the media, including RacingNews365.
"Like anything at all, the more time you spend doing something, it improves the odds of you improving at it, I think it's helped his relationship with the engineers. I think the training environment in Italy has been good, the weather has been fantastic.
"It's good for him as well. He's been around the factory. I just think, the specific sessions the engineers spend with him and his trainer spends with him. But also, on top of that, just being around guys working on a Formula 1 car, in the office, designers, and he's got a desk in the office with the engineers, he's been fantastic."
"So I think he's just taking it all in, and just getting more and more comfortable with it. And he's done a really solid weekend here. OK he got a penalty in qualifying, but that one can't be laid at his door and he's put in a pretty good performance. And he's built a weekend. We haven't raced yet, but he's built a weekend. So I definitely see the benefits.
"It's good having him around. It's also good for the factory, having the driver around..good motivation for people in the factory as well. I can see a lot of goodness in it, and I fully support it. I think it's helping him."
Egginton went on to explain that he feels Tsunoda has been helped to focus, given that it's his rookie season in what is a huge step up from the Formula 2 championship he raced in last year with the Carlin team.
"I think it does help him focus, I think when you're in this environment, in the F1 environment, it helps you take it all on board" he said.
"He's a young guy and it's been a big change for him and I think it's helped him focus.
"So, at the same time, I think his engineers having more access to him has also allowed them understand how better to work with him, how to communicate. So I think there's benefits on both sides. But yeah, for sure, focus on the engineering aspects, focus on the training aspects and then also being in Italy is a good environment to be learning in.
"I only see benefits in it. I don't see any downsides and it's a change but I think there's a positive message there."