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Yuki Tsunoda

Tsunoda: Zhou 'pretended' to go off in Spanish GP penalty clash

The AlphaTauri driver lost out on a points finish after being hit with a time penalty by stewards.

To news overview © XPBimages

Yuki Tsunoda believes Zhou Guanyu "pretended" to go off the track after the Spanish Grand Prix Formula 1 crash that cost the former a points finish.

On Lap 56 of 66 in Barcelona, Zhou attempted to drive around the outside of Tsunoda at Turns 1 and 2, but was forced into the escape road by the AlphaTauri driver, with both continuing on unscathed.

However, the stewards felt that the move was enough to earn Tsunoda a five-second time penalty which dropped him from a ninth-place (and two points) finish to 12th and outside the points.

Post-race, the Japanese racer was not impressed by the Alfa Romeo diving for the escape road, saying Zhou "pretended" to go off.

Tsunoda unhappy with Zhou

"To be honest, after I've given literally everything on every lap, I feel that it's a really harsh penalty," Tsunoda explained to media, including RacingNews365.com, after Zhou, Pierre Gasly and Charles Leclerc were all promoted up one place once the sanction was applied.

"From my perspective, there's still space there, and the car [Zhou] suddenly run off into the area and pretended like he got forced off, but there was still space, so he could have stayed on the track.

"I have to accept the reality that I lost out on points after that big race, so I am really disappointed."

Zhou's response

Zhou was promoted to ninth place after the penalty, scoring his, and the team's first points since Australia, where he was also ninth.

For his part, he felt the penalty call on Tsunoda was the right one.

"It was the right call by the stewards because I had a run with the DRS, was ahead in the braking zone by half-a-car at least into the corner, and then the next thing I saw was him releasing the brakes and forcing me fully off track," he explained.

"I had no more space, I had to take the escape road, so that was pretty spicy into Turn 1."

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