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Tsunoda 'emotional' driving Japanese GP track for first time in F1

The AlphaTauri driver said the first laps done around Suzuka were a 'dream come true' in front of his home crowd.

Yuki Tsunoda says the first laps driving his home circuit were a "dream come true" during Japanese Grand Prix practice. It's the first time Formula 1 has visited Japan since 2019, after the last two additions were cancelled due to Covid restrictions. Tsunoda last raced at the track in 2018 when he competed in Japanese Formula 4, achieving double race wins during the weekend. Now he found himself rolling out of the pits in an F1 car, which he says was "emotional" in front of the home crowd. "Definitely dream come true," Tsunoda told media. "You know, [getting] out from the garage in FP1 and first lap just feels really emotional. "Especially at Turn 2 during the out lap, I was there four years ago or five years ago. "I enjoyed it, not like [I was] feeling pressure or something like that I just enjoyed whole day."

Tsunoda struggled to find 'sweet spot' in conditions

The AlphaTauri driver finished 19th quickest in FP1, but managed to improve to 14th fastest in FP2 as the transition to Intermediate tyres happened in the tricky wet conditions. Tsunoda said it was hard to find a "sweet spot" in the changeable conditions, but believes it was good experience for the team to gather data. "With the rainy conditions the whole day, I think it's tricky to find this sweet spot in [this] track condition," he explained. "Sometimes it [track] dries up a little bit quickly and sometimes the Intermediates [grip] goes away quickly, which is where its hard to find a sweet spot. "But other than that, I think we are just gathering the data, building up the pace lap-by-lap, and from my side I had a good building up today." With the threat of rain on Sunday, Tsunoda is confident that he can build up his lap time in the wet conditions to achieve a good result. He added: "I have no idea [on dry conditions], but this dry condition we haven't driven yet which is the same same for everyone. "But I have pretty good confidence that I can achieve good things, but I need a lot of preparation and obviously its going to be new, first time for me and F1 [2022 cars] in dry conditions tomorrow."

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