AlphaTauri believes Yuki Tsunoda has taken a "big step up" in the 2023 Formula 1 season, after struggling in his first years with the team.
The Faenza-based outfit elected to extend his contract into 2024 alongside Daniel Ricciardo, as they transition into a new era with Peter Bayer coming in as CEO and Laurent Mekies taking over as Team Principal from longstanding member Franz Tost.
Tsunoda has scored the most points for AlphaTauri so far this season, having finished inside the top ten on three occasions.
With the rotation of teammates he's experienced, the Japanese driver has became the de facto team leader since the departure of Pierre Gasly for Alpine last season.
Head of Trackside Engineering, Jonathan Eddolls, believes he has improved a lot since his 'hot head' rookie season.
"Yuki has taken a quite a big step up this season. He came in obviously with a rookie teammate, so in a way he was our most experienced Formula 1 driver," he told media, including RacingNews365.
"He took that on his shoulders and performed well. He's definitely maturing and we all know in his first year or so he was quite hot-headed in the cockpit, on the radio. He's controlling all of that now and I think focusing that on understanding the car, and focusing that on the driving.
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When asked to explain the specific areas that Tsunoda has improved on track, Eddolls believes it's a combination of factors that has led to better consistency from him on track.
"[It's] the whole approach to the weekend. The consistency, he's focusing on understanding the car, giving better feedback. He's maturing as a driver and that's helping us focus on the areas to help him go faster," explained Eddolls.
"He's also understanding more what he needs from the car, in terms of the balance characteristics, the entry stability, all these sorts of things. Before, he was still learning, he went through the change of regulations.
"Us as a team, as well, we know how to extract the most from him based on the data, his feedback. So I think, we're gelling as a group and that's showing in his performance."