Yuki Tsunoda has hailed the "big step forward" taken by AlphaTauri following the team's strong qualifying performance at the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.
Tsunoda will make his first top 10 start of the 2023 F1 season for the race, having sealed P9 on the grid after reaching Q3 in Saturday's thrilling session.
It was also a better showing than of late for teammate Nyck de Vries, who will line up in P12.
With the squad having faced a difficult Friday in Monte Carlo, Tsunoda is pleased with the significant progression that was made ahead of Saturday's running.
Tsunoda felt confident 'immediately' in qualifying
"A big congratulations to the team," Tsunoda commented after qualifying.
"We struggled a lot [on Friday] during both practice sessions but made a big step forward overnight. I felt a positive change in FP3 straight away and we were able to find extra performance on top of it for qualifying.
"The massive work done by the mechanics and engineers showed; I felt confident immediately, especially during the last run in Q1. From then on, I enjoyed it a lot.
"It was my first Q3 appearance in Monaco and it was definitely special."
In terms of what he hopes to achieve in Sunday's race, Tsunoda is aiming to add to his points tally.
"I am happy with my performance, which allows us to start the race in the points position, so I will give it my all and extract everything possible to be able to score points," he added.
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De Vries excited for Monaco GP
On the other side of the garage, de Vries is hopeful that the team can maintain their solid performance going into Sunday.
"It was a challenging session, and we knew already before going into Q1 that it would be messy because of traffic," the Dutchman said.
"Of course, we always want more, but it has been a solid weekend so far. If we repeat the good work we have executed so far in [the] race, we can be satisfied with ourselves and the weekend in general.
"The track evolution is big here and you could see the track was only coming alive during qualifying when it counts, and the team did a good job of constantly improving with the changing circumstances.
"I have raced here previously, but it's another level in a Formula 1 car, and I am excited for [the race]!"
Jody Egginton, Technical Director at AlphaTauri, praised both drivers for doing a "good job", as well as acknowledging that the upgrade brought by the squad to Monaco seems to be "behaving well".
"With Yuki and Nyck qualifying ahead of our main competitors, it's a good start for the race and hopefully, we can maintain our positions and score points," he added.