Time to go behind the scenes with another All Access episode! We followed Yuki Tsunoda as he prepared for his first F1 weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix, capturing everything from his first media interviews to throwing his dirty laundry at his trainer - we also have a nice solo performance from Yuki as he sings one of his favourite tunes in Japanese!
https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/anal ... r/6166258/Could AlphaTauri be 2021 surprise after Bahrain ‘shocker’?
On paper a ninth place finish for rookie Yuki Tsunoda represented a solid if unspectacular start to the season for the Italian team. However, it was the pace that the AT02 showed on Saturday that really caught the attention of rivals.
Tsunoda sailed through Q1 in second after a lap that McLaren boss Andrea Seidl called "a bit of a shocker,” so impressive was it to the other midfield runners.
Indeed that form encouraged AlphaTauri to take a punt on the medium tyre for Q2, something that wouldn’t normally be on the team’s agenda. Pierre Gasly made it through in eighth place, but Tsunoda – caught out by the change of compound mid-session – had to settle for 13th.
Back on the softs for Q3, Gasly then secured fifth spot on the grid, behind only Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc.
it went wrong for the Frenchman in the race when wiped his front wing off in contact with Daniel Ricciardo. Meanwhile Tsunoda lost places after what he admitted was an over-cautious first F1 start. His subsequent strong recovery, which saw him take ninth from Lance Stroll on the last lap, gave some indication of the wasted potential.
https://www.planetf1.com/news/alphataur ... ent-honda/AlphaTauri improvement ‘70% Honda 30% car’
AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost believes that his outfit’s strong pace can largely be attributed to the stronger Honda engine.
Pierre Gasly claimed P5 on the grid for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, and it seemed that a strong haul of points was there for the taking before a collision with Daniel Ricciardo wrecked the Frenchman’s race.
Yuki Tsunoda on his debut lost a few positions at the start, but with overtakes on the likes of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll worked his way back up to finish P9, securing points in his first outing.
“With Pierre the performance in qualifying was very good, it would almost became 4th place,” Tost reflected in conversation with SPEEDWEEK.com.
“For Yuki, we were wrong with the choice of tyres, he would have needed the option tyre [to make Q3], but on the other hand we did not want to have a discussion about different treatment or even a disadvantage.
“Pierre started well in the race, but the Safety Car after Nikita Mazepin’s accident hurt us a lot. His medium tyres took longer to reach temperature, so he was at a disadvantage compared to his immediate competitors on the soft compound and lost some places, which then also led to damage to the front wing. That was how his race was actually over.
“The most important thing for Yuki was to collect race kilometres. He did everything right, drove flawlessly. The ninth place was good, it could even have been a seventh or eighth. Pierre could have finished without the incident in P4 or P5, so we lost a lot of good points.”
Nonetheless, AlphaTauri take momentum into the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix from the fact that they appear to be in that battle with McLaren and Ferrari at the front of the midfield pack.
Further up the grid Red Bull look set for a title battle with Mercedes, armed with an improved Honda engine that also powers AlphaTauri.
And Tost believes that the Japanese manufacturer’s gains actually account for “70%” of AlphaTauri’s positive step.
“There have been small advances in the chassis, but the main advantage comes from Honda with a much stronger engine,” he said.
“I would say 70 percent of the improvement goes to Honda, 30 percent to the car.”
Honda Racing F1
Making the step up to F1 for Yuki Tsunoda was far from an overnight event. We sat down with his Performance Coach,
Noel Carroll, who filled us in on the behind the scenes work that began between the two of them for the new season,
back in December of 2020.
Yuki >>> ..........Formula 1 Returns To Imola For Round Two
Honda Racing F1
The opening round of the season produced encouraging results for both our teams with the Honda PU being fastest in all practice sessions, taking pole and then finishing second, fifth and ninth in the race. However, the Bahrain weekend was not entirely trouble-free, therefore we have been working hard with both teams in this relatively long break before Round 2 to analyse all the data and take countermeasures where required.
Formula 1’s return to the Imola circuit last year proved very popular with drivers, viewers and fans and it produced an exciting race. It was a busy weekend, run over just two days as an experiment, but this year we return to the usual three-day format. The Scuderia AlphaTauri factory is just 15 kilometres from the track, making it their home race, which is a further reason why we at Honda and their team members will be highly motivated to have a strong weekend. Last year, qualifying went very well for them and Red Bull Racing, but the race result did not reflect their true potential, so this time we hope we can have a smooth weekend leading to an excellent performance on Sunday.