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Yuki Tsunoda

Why AlphaTauri have kept the faith with Tsunoda

After a troubled debut F1 season so far, AlphaTauri have recommitted to Yuki Tsunoda for 2022. Team boss Franz Tost has explained why the team still have faith in the Japanese rookie.

Tsunoda Nederland
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

AlphaTauri have kept the faith with Yuki Tsunoda for 2022, despite the Japanese rookie continuing to struggle for form in what has been a tough debut season.

Stepping up from Formula 2 to make his Formula 1 debut with AlphaTauri this year, Tsunoda seemed to hit the ground running as he impressed in pre-season testing and immediately scored points on his debut in Bahrain.

But since then, it's been a season of frustration, with constant incidents and accidents blighting Tsunoda's weekends. He has scored just 18 of the 72 points the team have earned this season, with teammate Pierre Gasly scoring the other 54.

However, it's Gasly's form that has helped convince Franz Tost and Red Bull that Tsunoda deserves another season.

"Pierre is using his experience in F1 to help Yuki with his development," Tost explained after the driver announcement was made.

"This year we have seen that the positive relationship between the two, made of a competitiveness on-track and a friendship off-track, has proven effective for the team.

"Yuki has joined the team as a rookie and is continuing to learn every day, the feedback from the engineers shows that he is absorbing all the information given to him and improving.

"Furthermore, as a rookie, Yuki is only at the beginning of this journey, so it's good that he can continue what we've started together."

Tsunoda moved to Italy earlier this season, after a decision from Red Bull to relocate their rookie from the UK due to his troubles.

The move to Faenza to be kept under Tost's supervision was made in a bid to help Tsunoda keep focus and build closer links with the team by being in close proximity to the AlphaTauri factory.

Tsunoda's best result of the season came just before the summer break, scoring a sixth place in the Hungarian Grand Prix behind Gasly in fifth.

With his future now safe for another season, he can focus on building some confidence and stability as the 2021 season draws to a close.

"I'm really excited to be staying with Scuderia AlphaTauri for a second season," Tsunoda said.

"It's an incredible opportunity and I'm so thankful to the team for letting me continue to grow my experience in Formula 1 with them.

"I have a very good relationship with Pierre, I have learnt a lot from him already this year and his experience has helped me to keep developing my own skills, so it's great to be continuing my F1 journey with him.

"Having recently moved out to Faenza I am feeling very settled within the team and am looking forward to the upcoming season."

F1 2021 Italian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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