Yuki Tsunoda says he's somewhat surprised to have been kept on at AlphaTauri, with the team confirming earlier this week that he will continue alongside Pierre Gasly next year.
Having been given a stay of execution after a tough first half of the 2021 season, Tsunoda was surprisingly honest when he spoke about his contract renewal with the media at Monza.
Tsunoda explained that it was a surprise for him to have been given the extension.
"To be honest, when I was asked last week, I knew already a little bit," he told media, including RacingNews365.com, when discussing his new deal.
"I can't say anything about next year's contract, but I'm really excited, of course.
"The first half of the season was quite inconsistent, [so] from my side, I was a bit surprised I'll be staying for next year."
When asked why he was surprised, Tsunoda said: "Because I keep crashing and spend a lot of money for the team."
Tsunoda's first half of the season was marred by plenty of incidents and accidents, including several off-track moments at Imola, and a big crash over the French Grand Prix weekend.
But Tsunoda said it was his Hungarian practice crash that really made him think his career would be over at the end of this season.
"It's not a good way to end the first half of the season, especially in Hungary, [when] I went into the wall in FP1 and ruined the whole session, almost two sessions," he said.
"I got asked from [AlphaTauri team boss] Franz [Tost] and [Red Bull advisor] Helmut [Marko] that I need a more consistent result and more discipline in the sessions. I couldn't improve fully in the first half of the season.
"I was able to score points in Hungary, which was a bit lucky."
Tsunoda has scored just 18 of the 84 points scored by AlphaTauri this season, but there have been glimpses of speed from the rookie.
"It was mixed feelings, sometimes doing well and sometimes [not], so that's why I would say it was surprising," he said.
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