Yuki Tsunoda is frustrated with his result from the Mexican GP, admitting that a valuable chance to score points was missed.
Tsunoda has spent most of 2023 in a category of drivers with machinery rarely capable of points. The 23-year-old can be compared to Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, whose chances of points have been limited.
Misfortune in Spain and Monaco cost the Japanese driver crucial points, and opportunities were scarce in the subsequent rounds. That said, the updates introduced in Singapore have given AlphaTauri a significant step forward.
Tsunoda’s P8 and fastest lap in COTA was a recent example, but the AT04’s pace in Mexico was at a season-high. The Italian outfit was fast from the beginning of Practice 1 and maintained this through qualifying and the race.
An engine penalty compromised Tsunoda’s weekend, and so did a 10-second stop early in the GP. Still, the #22 car showed great speed and was back in contention after the red flag.
Several laps after the restart, a chance for P7 slipped away after he misjudged a move on Oscar Piastri – as they battled for position.
This was a huge stain on his efforts in Mexico City, overshadowed by a failure to score points. Speaking to the media in Brazil, the AlphaTauri driver spoke about his reflection post-race.
“After the race, I was really frustrated because I missed the chance to score for the team. “
“Up until then, I had a good race. So, I was really frustrated, and it was hard to overcome that frustration.
“I cancelled everything and just stayed in my room… It was hard, of course, but it gives me time to think.”
There will be more chances
It’s certainly unfortunate that Tsunoda failed to convert points on the rare occasion AlphaTauri had the pace for strong points. As happens so often in F1, drivers can be judged for a handful of performances – rather than a season’s work.
Regardless of this, there are positives for the 23-year-old to take. AlphaTauri should be competitive in the next three rounds and (based on their current trajectory) next season.
Having enjoyed his most competitive F1 machinery as a rookie, the next twelve months could be a crucial window for Tsunoda to show what he can achieve in a competitive car.