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Yuki Tsunoda

Tsunoda hails 'incredible' home qualifying after securing new contract

The Japanese driver has managed to qualify inside of the top ten at his home race, hours after his 2024 deal was announced.

Tsunoda Japan
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Yuki Tsunoda has hailed his Japanese Grand Prix qualifying performance as "incredible" after setting the ninth-fastest time in front of his home crowd.

Earlier on Saturday at Suzuka, Tsunoda had his contract with AlphaTauri extended into 2024 alongside Daniel Ricciardo, which means the incumbent Liam Lawson misses out.

In reaching Q3, it was the first time that Tsunoda made Q3 since the Monaco Grand Prix in May, with his lap good enough to start ahead of Fernando Alonso in 10th - and the first non Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari or Mercedes driver.

When asked about his performance in front of the Japanese fans, Tsunoda told F1 TV: "Definitely happy. It's just incredible, especially getting through to Q3 in [my] home Grand Prix.

"We struggled in the practice sessions, so the team did a good job and very good job by them. The car was great and looking forward to the race."

Tsunoda looking at points at home race

The AlphaTauri driver has yet to complete a single racing lap since August at the Dutch Grand Prix, having retired from both races at Monza and Singapore either before or on the opening lap of the race.

Tsunoda hopes he can run with the new updates that the team brought in Singapore, and is confident they can finish in the points.

"I didn't drive with the new package yet in Singapore, but how Liam performed in Singapore looks nice," said Tsunoda.

"I don't have to worry too much about the race, just have to enjoy, share a moment with the fans, and hopefully we are going to score points."

F1 2023 Japanese Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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