Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda delivered a much-improved performance as he finished in 10th, securing points for the first time in eight races, while Australian teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished in 16th place in just his second race with the team.
Honestly, it was tough in traffic. Maybe a race with more clear air could’ve been better, but in general, I’m not convinced we had a great pace today. It felt like we never got the peak out of the tyres, and we couldn’t generate enough grip in the second sector. When we were in clear air later in the race, I felt we were more competitive, but in traffic, it was definitely hard. The reality is, these were my first dry laps in this car on this track, and I don’t know this car that well yet, so I still felt there was a little missing, but we’ll figure it out. Many are now looking forward to a well-deserved holiday, but the situation is slightly different for me, as the break is a good chance for me to keep working behind the scenes. After a few days off, I’ll spend time in the gym and use my days training to be able to improve my race fitness further.
The team did a fantastic job today; the car was flying, and I’m happy to finish the points before the summer break. A huge well done to the entire team: the mechanics, people in Bicester and Faenza, and trackside engineers. It’s been a long time since I scored points, and I’ve been struggling in the last few races, so I’m very happy now. We were slightly lucky with a couple of cars retiring in front of us, but I felt really comfortable during the race. The car went naturally forward, and I was managing my tyres. At one point there was some rain, but fortunately, it stopped quite quickly, and I could keep up the pace and drive consistently. After the horrible day I had yesterday, I didn’t want to take that feeling into the summer break, so I’m happy I could extract and maximise the car’s performance. I feel I could give back to the team, apologise to them, and give them a little bit of positive energy going into the break. Now I’ll rest as much as I can and prepare for the second half of the season.
Franz Tost – Team Principal
We started the race with Yuki in P11 and Daniel in P19, so we decided to split the strategy between the two cars: Yuki started on the medium compound and Daniel on the soft tyre. Yuki managed a fantastic start and ended up in P8, keeping his position for a very long time. I think some cars were staying out, postponing their pitstop, just waiting for more rain to come later in the race. Yuki was in P6 at one point, but of course, certain other cars were faster and could overtake us. In the end, Yuki finished P10 and scored one point for the team, which is very important. What is even more relevant is that the aero development is going in the right direction, and this is evidence of the fact that people in Bicester are doing a good job. As for Daniel, he started towards the back of the grid today as his lap time got deleted in qualifying on Friday because of violating track limits in Turn 4. It’s a shame, as he showed great performance yesterday, being close to scoring a point in the Sprint race. Starting further back today was really difficult because it’s really hard to overtake. We still miss some load on the car, but I’m convinced that when Daniel is more familiar with the car and tyres, he’ll do a really good job. In general, the team did a very good job. We haven’t scored a point in a long time, so we’re very pleased and are looking forward to the second half of the season because I think we can still improve our performance.