Yuki Tsunoda says he is ready to be the team leader at AlphaTauri in 2023, though he acknowledges the need to cut out mistakes from his driving.
Tsunoda made his F1 bow in 2021 partnering Pierre Gasly, but with the Frenchman departing for Alpine next year to be replaced by near-rookie Nyck de Vries, Tsunoda said he was prepared to step up to the challenge of being the more experienced driver in the AlphaTauri pairing.
The Japanese has made a few unforced errors during the 2022 season, crashing out at Canada and Singapore, and colliding with Gasly at Silverstone, and Tsunoda accepted that such incidents were unacceptable.
Currently lying 17th in the 2022 Drivers' Championship with a best finish of seventh in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Tsunoda hasn't scored any points in the last 12 races, and said he was keen to return to the form he had shown in the early stages of 2022.
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Tsunoda details areas for improvement
Asked by media during the Japanese Grand Prix if he felt ready to be the team leader next year, Tsunoda simply replied: "Yes."
"I think I have to learn a lot of things during the rest of [the season], from Pierre, for example.
"For sure, the kind of mistakes I did in Singapore have to definitely reduce, and lots of things - for example, penalties - are unnecessary, so they definitely have to improve, but at the same time, the pace, especially over one lap, I'm quite happy and having good progress so far.
"So I just [want to] keep this momentum until next year. Definitely, I have to get back into the good rhythm like I had in the first half of the season."
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