AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda has said that he learned valuable lessons while racing Lewis Hamilton during the early stages of the Turkish Grand Prix.
The Japanese rookie spend the opening laps being relentlessly pursued by Hamilton as the Mercedes driver attempted to make early progress from his 11th-place grid slot.
But Tsunoda resisted the pressure admirably for eight laps before Hamilton snuck past through Turns 3 and 4, and the AlphaTauri man said he took great pleasure in trying to keep Hamilton behind.
"I enjoyed it a lot," he told media, including RacingNews365.com ahead of the United States Grand Prix.
"Especially [when] I didn't expect I could block him or keep him behind for eight laps. So that was good. After that, eventually I spun. But, until then, it was really fun."
Tsunoda explained that he could see the reigning World Champion weighing up different options as he tried to find a way past and get after the leading pack.
"I was just always watching mirrors," Tsunoda commented.
"And then, after he passed, he made the gap really fast, so I couldn't see much but how he overtook... how he took different lines and tried to overtake me... I learned a lot from him, even when I was in front of him."
With Tsunoda heading into the final batch of races in his rookie season, he said that the team's expectations on him are about finding confidence and poise ahead of his second season, rather than putting pressure on him to help the team secure fifth in the Constructors' Championship.
"For me, it's more pressure, but not team pressure to score points," he said.
"For me, at this point, they want me to [be] more focused on my driving and also progressing through the race week.
"Most of the tracks we're going to face, they're going to be new tracks. Only Abu Dhabi is a track I already drove.
"Of course, for me, I want to help the team to be fifth in the Constructors' Championship that we are aiming for. I think we have a good car and a good team with good mechanics, so we have a good confidence that we can be fifth in the championship."
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