Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda finished the 2023 Formula 1 Bahrain GP just out of the points in 11th, with Dutch teammate Nyck de Vries completing his first race for the team in a creditable 14th place.
Nyck de Vries
I’m pretty satisfied with our race today. It could have been better, and there is room for improvement, but our race pace was decent in performance. 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.
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 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 develop the car to 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 can extract speed from the car to score points.
JODY EGGINTON – Technical Director
Both Yuki and Nyck have done an excellent job tonight, from lights out to the chequered flag. They managed the tyres well, provided good feedback to the pit wall, and performed well. The AT04 continues to run very reliably, which is positive. Although we’ve been fighting for the final points positions with Yuki tonight, with Nyck also putting in solid lap times, we primarily lack grip. Our aero development is the key to addressing this limitation, 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 simultaneously, so the strategy group needed to review the numbers to see why this call appeared marginal. Although the season’s first race 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 forward.
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. We have a lot to work on from a technical point of view as the car isn’t on the level I expect. We know where the car’s deficiencies 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 recovered 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; he needed to learn the car’s characteristics in race conditions and get as much experience as possible.