Yuki Tsunoda says his seventh-place finish at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was unexpected ahead of what looked set to be a difficult weekend for AlphaTauri.
The Japanese driver started down in 16th for Saturday's Sprint after a tough Friday in difficult conditions. But after moving forward four places during the 100-kilometre race, the youngster was able to turn 12th into seventh on Sunday.
His finish was made all the more impressive by the changeable conditions at Imola, and the lack of DRS throughout the opening phases, with Race Control opting to delay its introduction.
But while others complained that they were unable to get moves done, including teammate Pierre Gasly, Tsunoda appeared to cut through the field with relative ease.
"To be honest, I didn't expect [this result]. I mean, I didn't try to expect it, because this kind of difficult condition is really hard to predict," he said, speaking to select members of the media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I was just focusing to stay on the track first and just trusting my car's pace, [and] I'm super happy to be able to score points, especially at a home track."
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Tsunoda keen to play down expectations
Tsunoda, now into his second season in Formula 1, endured a mixed rookie campaign. There were a number of impressive showings, including a fourth-place finish at the season finale, but plenty of incidents.
He has started the 2022 campaign in fine form and is now ahead of Gasly in the standings, who placed outside the points at Imola.
"Don't make me too excited for those things, I'm still learning!" said Tsunoda, keen to play down expectations.
"I feel there's still a lot of things to learn and also improve, for my side as well. Maybe I'll stay still for a little bit now, and we'll see a little bit more later.
"There were lots of factory people watching in Imola, and the amount of work they've done in the year, the season before, and also this year, is huge. To be able to score points for them, I'm super happy for this one."
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