Yuki Tsunoda Narrowly Misses Bahrain Points Finish

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 05: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT04 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 05, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202303050271 // Usage for editorial use only //
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 05: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT04 on track during the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 05, 2023 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202303050271 // Usage for editorial use only //

Yuki Tsunoda has come agonisingly close to scoring a point in the opening race of the 2023 FORMULA 1 season, finishing 11th in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

His teammate Nyck de Vries finished 14th to cap his debut race for Scuderia Alpha Tauri.

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Yuki Tsunoda

“The race pace was better than we expected, but at the same time, it’s very frustrating to just miss out on points. The start was the decisive moment as I lost some positions to Williams, and their straight-line speed was too strong for us, so we couldn’t manage to overtake them. I’m happy with my tyre management, although we struggled more than we thought. As soon as we wanted to push, the tyres began to overheat, and I started to slide around and lose the rear. We have more work to do to develop the car so we can consistently fight the midfield, starting with Saudi Arabia. Since we struggled with high-speed performance, Saudi might be difficult, but I’m staying positive as I’m sure the team and I will be able to extract speed from the car to be able to score points.”

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Nyck de Vries

“I’m pretty satisfied with our race today. Obviously, it could have been better and there is room for improvement, but in terms of performance, our race pace was decent. Given where we started, it was a good day because we could still fight some cars around us. Not pitting under the VSC meant I was driving on the hard compound tyre for the remainder of the race, but ultimately, the mileage and experience will help us for the season. Points weren’t possible today, so we’ll look ahead to Saudi Arabia, which is a bit quicker, meaning the midfield will look different again. We know there’s more work to do, but as a team, we’ll continue to work hard on the areas that require improvements to give us a stronger performance moving forward.”

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Jody Egginton (Technical Director)

“Both Yuki and Nyck have done an excellent job tonight from lights out until the chequered flag. They managed the tyres well, provided good feedback to the pit wall, and delivered a good performance. The AT04 continues to run very reliably which is positive, and although we’ve been fighting for the final points positions with Yuki tonight – with Nyck also putting in solid lap times – we are primarily lacking grip. The key to addressing this limitation is our aero development, so this is the focus. The call to bring Yuki in under the VSC for his final stop was a no-brainer, however, we missed out by not pitting Nyck at the same time, so the strategy group need to go through the numbers to see why this call appeared a marginal one at the time. Although the first race of the season is over, the aero development race continues unabated, with the aero and manufacturing groups focused on delivering updates on a rolling basis to move the performance forwards.”

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Franz Tost (Team Principal)

“First of all, congratulations to Red Bull Racing for a fantastic start to the season, finishing with a one-two and so far ahead of the rest of the field. From our side, I am not satisfied with our performance. From a technical point of view, we have a lot to work on as the car isn’t on the level I expect. We know where the deficiencies of the car are, and we have to work to increase the performance with new upgrades, which I hope will be effective when they arrive. After qualifying P14 and P19, we were able to recover in the race, and I must say that both drivers did a good job. Yuki pushed hard to finish in the top 10, but unfortunately, he missed out by a couple of tenths. Nyck also did well in the race; it was important for him to learn the characteristics of the car in race conditions and get as much experience as possible.”

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