Tsunoda training with Ricciardo’s F1 coach
By Mat Coch
Sunday 12th February, 2023 - 10:26am
Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda spent part of the F1 off-season on a training camp where he got to work with his new coach.
For 2023, the Japanese driver has begun working with Michael Italiano, who previously assisted Daniel Ricciardo.
Italiano has formerly worked with elite athletes across a number of sports, and began working with Ricciardo during his time at Renault.
During the European winter, Tsunoda and Italiano spent two weeks together in Dubai to bed down their new working relationship.
“I was there for two weeks, working on my general fitness and the time was also important to get to know my new coach, who used to work with Ricciardo,” said Tsunoda.
“One of the main targets of the camp was to build our relationship so that we understand one another before testing and racing begins.
“That went well and so did the actual training, where we focused mainly on the endurance side.”
Training programme key for Tsunoda
Preparation was one of Tsunoda’s shortcomings during his rookie season in 2021.
That saw him move near the team’s Faenza headquarters where he was put on a strict regime by AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost.
Alongside a more structured training programme, Tsunoda also worked far more closely with his engineers and was frequently at the factory.
The net result was a more consistent season in 2022, even if results were masked by a difficult car.
“That made a big difference to my physical condition in general, meaning that my concentration levels and performance improved in the races.”
Also in Dubai was team-mate Nyck de Vries, affording the pair an opportunity to get to know one another before the season starts.
Working with de Vries
At 27, de Vries is comparatively old as an F1 rookie, however, he has a vast amount of experience and a Formula E world championship to his name.
“Nyck was also training in Dubai, so we got the opportunity to spend a little bit of time together,” Tsunoda said.
“We knew each other before then from past years. We already have a good relationship, and we will build more on that now as team-mates this season.
“I think together we make a strong pairing, with the aim of helping the team progress this year. I also believe I can learn things from Nyck.”
AlphaTauri revealed its 2023 livery on Saturday evening as part of the New York Fashion Week.
Its first official running will be pre-season testing, which takes place in Bahrain on February 23-25.
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