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Tsunoda "easy" Bahrain weekend gave false sense of security

Tsunoda "easy" Bahrain weekend gave false sense of security

F1 News

Tsunoda "easy" Bahrain weekend gave false sense of security

Tsunoda "easy" Bahrain weekend gave false sense of security
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Yuki Tsunoda has conceded to carrying "too much confidence" into his rookie year in F1 after a weekend that was "too easy" in Bahrain provided a false sense of security.

The Japanese driver was drafted into the AlphaTauri lineup as part of Red Bull's junior programme after impressing in F2 and began with a strong showing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

But a qualifying crash at the next race in Imola triggered a snowball effect that saw Tsunoda struggle throughout a season marred with incidents and a lack of pace compared to Pierre Gasly.

Asked in an end-of-season interview, including GPFans, if he felt F1 was easy after Bahrain, Tsunoda replied: “To be honest, yes.

"I would say I had too much confidence. I was feeling [it was] too easy, I will say for Formula 1 because so far I didn't have like massive shunt things, strange things.

"All was completely under control, that's why I was expecting [it to be] easy.

“But as soon as I had a crash in Imola…actually, after Imola I was okay still. My confidence was okay.

"I just felt that instead, the incident I had in qualifying was just unlucky, and also I expect it's going to happen before the braking zone.

“As soon as I began crashing consistently, I started to feel like [there was] a question mark about my confidence and also it started to feel quite difficult, much [more] difficult than I was thinking.

"Especially how I build up through the race week, the approach was completely wrong, I would say."

Explaining the differences between junior categories and F1, Tsunoda continued: “I was taking the same approach as Formula 2, which is a completely different format. They have only one free practice and straight into qualifying.

“I was always trying to nail it, or try to push from the first push in pre-practice, which in Formula 1, it's not necessary to do that, because there are only three free practice [sessions].

"This time, especially in Formula 1 if you do that, there's a lot of risk that you go into the wall and lose a lot of track time and also have to rebuild the confidence and lots of things are going to be negative.

“Yes, as soon as I realised that, it was very hard to find this answer as to how I can improve the confidence because at that point my confidence was completely zero.

“I never had that in the past. My confidence went completely, almost nothing.

“I had a really hard time to gain or rebuild this confidence as I had in Bahrain, and yes, there are also many things I struggled [with].”

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