Yuki Tsunoda was close to achieving AlphaTauri's first points of the year at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, following the team's disappointing start to the 2023 Formula 1 season.
The Japanese driver managed to climb up the order from 15th on the grid and into the top six thanks to the Safety Car, before dropping down in the latter stages due to lack of pace.
Tsunoda recalled after the race how he had to push in the first sector of the lap to open the gap to rivals, but the lack of straight-line speed and downforce from the AT04 in crucial corners made it tough for him to keep drivers behind.
"I gave it my 100 per cent effort for every lap and still lost positions like that in the end, in that last few laps which is really frustrating," said Tsunoda to media, including RacingNews365.com.
"We just lost too much pace on the straights and a couple of corners that require downforce.
"[I] just had to kind of push it 100 per cent effort in sector one to maximise the pace from our car to make the gap as much as possible."
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AlphaTauri need 'a couple of tenths' to battle with top 10
AlphaTauri is one of only two teams yet to score points in 2023, but Tsunoda believes the squad only need 'a couple of tenths' to battle inside the top 10.
"I expected much worse than that, so a good job also from the engineers [and] mechanics. We just need a couple of tenths," he said.
"I think [there is] frustration for all of us. At least I gave my efforts and extracted performance from the car as much as possible. And fighting close to the points, so at least I gave excitement to the team.
"So hopefully we can develop through the year and score points."
Join RacingNews365.com journalists Michael Butterworth and Dieter Rencken, with new host Balve Baines, as they discuss the key talking points from the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.