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Yuki Tsunoda

Tsunoda: Maybe I'm aiming too high

The AlphaTauri driver says he is happy but also disappointed with his maiden Formula 1 race at Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix despite scoring his first points in F1

Tsunoda AlphaTauri
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool / Getty Images

Yuki Tsunoda feels his first Formula 1 weekend could have been better despite becoming the first Japanese driver to score points in F1 since Kamui Kobayashi in 2012.

The AlphaTauri rookie is already searching for improvement and is not fully satisfied with his ninth place from the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

"Maybe I’m aiming too high," Tsunoda told RacingNews365.com and other select members of the press.

"For me I just saw that my teammate was doing a better job in qualifying, and I was aiming for there, so of course I’m not a hundred percent happy.

“But like I say, I’m happy to get points first race, because that is a really positive thing for the team. So I’m not really disappointed but I would say that I’ve learned a lot of things in this race, obviously."

Tsunoda struggled on the opening lap of the race when he lost two positions in the tight midfield. It's an area where he feels he must improve at future events.

“I think the most notable thing is the positioning for the first lap, especially like after the start," said Tsunoda. "I was too cautious to not have any damage.

"I I knew that the car is there, and the car had a good pace, but I decided I just had to be really cautious to not have any damage on the first lap. And also positioning the car, the start was really poor.

Tsunoda says he was determined to not settle for tenth place so decided to launch a last lap attack on Lance Stroll with a brave overtake going into turn one. He managed to execute the move and was pleased with his final stint of the Grand Prix.

“The last stint I think was the best one for me, also in tyre management,” added Tsunoda. “I think for me it was a good pace compared to the other two stints.

“I passed Stroll at the last lap in the first corner. It was a really late launch, but I decided that if I couldn’t overtake him, I can’t sleep all night tonight!

"So I struggled really the last two laps, especially in dirty air from him. I did quite a lot of mistakes so I’m really glad to pass him in the last lap.

“Happy, but also a bit disappointed I think, especially because I thought I lost too many positions in the first lap. Also it took time to recover the positions.”

"The positive thing is that I’ve learned a lot of things during this race. So just do better for Imola next time.”

F1 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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