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Yuki Tsunoda

Tsunoda 'didn't care' about Hamilton battle: I want Verstappen to win

Yuki Tsunoda admits he tried to keep Lewis Hamilton behind him for as long as possible during their battle in the Turkish Grand Prix, with the Japanese driver backing Max Verstappen for the title.

Tsunoda Hamilton Turkey
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To news overview © Red Bull Contentpool

Yuki Tsunoda admits he didn't gain any extra enjoyment from battling with Lewis Hamilton in the Turkish Grand Prix, and is hoping that Max Verstappen can win the World Championship.

The AlphaTauri driver tried to keep Hamilton behind him for as long as possible during the opening stages of the race, but the seven-time World Champion managed to overtake on Lap 8.

With Verstappen racing for the sister Red Bull team, Tsunoda is supporting the Dutchman in his title challenge.

When asked if he had enjoyed fighting with Hamilton in the race, Tsunoda told RacingNews365.com and other select media: "I don't care much, to be honest.

"I want to Max to win. It's the last year of Honda [with] Red Bull as well.

"I tried to hold Lewis as much as possible, I don't know how many laps. I was trying to save more but I couldn't."

The Japanese driver managed to keep Hamilton behind for longer than some of his rivals, yet still felt he could have done more, saying: "Eight laps, it's not enough."

Tsunoda started the Grand Prix from ninth on the grid and had hoped to score points, but finished in 14th place.

The 21-year-old felt that he took too much out of his tyres during his tussle with Hamilton, and also suffered a spin during the race.

"I just used too much tyre early on battling with Hamilton," Tsunoda explained. "After that it was really hard to keep up the pace.

"I had a spin and tried to go faster. Also the mirrors, I couldn't see anything because of, I think, dust. I just couldn't see. I thought there was a car right behind me, so I had to push and spun.

"The spin ruined my whole race, so it's a shame. It was possible to score points, so it's just a shame."

Tsunoda's teammate, Pierre Gasly, had a slightly better day despite receiving a penalty for a first-lap incident with Fernando Alonso. The Frenchman finished the race in sixth, only a few seconds behind Hamilton.

F1 2021 Turkish Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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