‘Really disappointed’ Tsunoda on the back foot

Yuki Tsunoda

Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda enters day two at the Hungarian Grand Prix playing catch up courtesy of a costly practice crash.

Tsunoda managed just 21 laps on Friday at the Hungaroring, far less than any other driver. By comparison, his AlphaTauri team-mate Pierre Gasly chalked up 58 laps around the tight and twisty circuit.

Tsunoda’s track time was severely impacted by a mistake that sent him into the barriers during Free Practice 1 – his mechanics only repairing the car in time for three laps at the end of the second session.

Consequently, he ended Free Practice 2 in 17th, 11 spots and more than 1.5 seconds down on Gasly.

“I’m really disappointed with today, I made a mistake in FP1 and it meant that I’ve lost more than a session’s worth of running,” said the 21-year-old.

“The rear of the car felt very nervous, especially in high-speed corners, and I was losing a lot of time there compared to Pierre.

“I was trying to improve in those areas, but I lost control of the car and I went into the wall.

“Unfortunately, the gearbox was damaged, and the team had to work really hard to get my car ready for the afternoon.

“The mechanics did a really good job getting the car fixed before the end of the session, so I was able to get one push lap in during FP2.

“It was really helpful for both the engineers and I to get this, so we can review the data [overnight].”

The incident is the continuation of a common theme in Tsunoda’s first F1 season, frequently showing flashes of speed but too often prone to costly errors.

Free Practice 3 begins tonight at 20:00 AEST.

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