AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost feels Yuki Tsunoda’s performances have progressed after moving to Italy to work more closely with his team.
Under Helmut Marko’s orders, the Japanese rookie moved from Milton Keynes over to Faenza, near AlphaTauri’s factory, so he can spend more time learning the inner workings of his team and to get more used to his surroundings.
The youngster has had a difficult start to life in Formula 1 overall, scoring only nine points compared to 39 for team-mate Pierre Gasly, and Tsunoda gained two unnecessary five-second penalties in Austria for crossing the white line on his way into the pit lane, following up his best qualifying performance with a disappointing outing to finish outside the points.
Tost has thrown his support behind his driver, however, and feels he is showing signs of improvement because of his increased presence around his team at AlphaTauri.
“Yuki’s a rookie, he’s new in Formula 1, and believe me, for these young drivers, it’s really difficult to come into Formula 1,” Tost said, quoted by Motorsport.com.
“At every race track, every race weekend, that is the first time they are qualifying there. Of course, you can say yeah, but they did FP1, FP2, FP3, they must know where to go. But for example, the wind is maybe increasing, or coming from another direction, or the track is hotter or colder. So many things are changing.
“You cannot teach this young driver. He has to learn, and every qualifying session, what to do on this track. Therefore experience is so important.
“Yuki is improving really well, the complete process is absolutely in the right direction. He didn’t change the approach. He has already beforehand a good approach. But as he is now, much more time with the engineers, because he’s living in Faenza.
“I always say that a young driver needs three years to understand this complicated Formula 1, because Formula 1 has become much more complicated than it was years beforehand. I’m very happy with Yuki. He shows a fantastic natural speed, and he’s improving day by day, session by session.
“I’m quite optimistic that we will see a very good second half of the season, and that Yuki will also be successful in the future.”
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Tsunoda said that senior Red Bull driver Sergio Perez has been advising him in his rookie season and helping him out where necessary, which the AlphaTauri team principal has been a long-standing fan of the two teams interacting with each other.
“It was always the case in the past that the Red Bull drivers worked together, because they’re coming from the same family,” Tost said. “But it’s really positive if such an experienced driver like Perez is or Max, is taking some advice to the young drivers. This helps enormously.
“They know exactly how to help them and where to advise them in the correct way.”
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