'Really disappointed' Tsunoda's long post-crash absence explained - The Race
Formula 1

‘Really disappointed’ Tsunoda’s long post-crash absence explained

Jul 30 2021
By Scott Mitchell

Yuki Tsunoda’s single flying lap in second practice was the result of gearbox damage caused by his FP1 crash, leaving the Formula 1 rookie “really disappointed” with his Hungarian Grand Prix Friday.

Tsunoda had an unusual off at the Hungaroring in opening practice when he lost the rear of his AlphaTauri on the entry to the fast uphill Turn 4 left-hander, overcorrected and spun – hitting the wall backwards.

It did not look like a major impact but it caused significant damage that meant in addition to missing the rest of FP1, Tsunoda only emerged at the very end of FP2 to complete an out-lap, one flying lap, and an in-lap.

AlphaTauri chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls described the day as a “tale of two halves” given Pierre Gasly was in the top six in both sessions.

He said the damage to the rear was “fairly extensive” and “took quite a long time to repair”.

Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri F1 crash

“The mechanics did an excellent job getting the car back out before the end of FP2 and Yuki was able to get one push lap in before the end of the session,” said Eddolls.

“He completed this lap on the softs, however he ended up in the mix of cars doing long-runs, so we can’t consider his time representative of the real performance.”

The crash was the fifth major impact Tsunoda has had so far this season, at the start of only his 11th event.

He shunted in qualifying at Imola, hit the wall in practice in Monaco, then crashed again in qualifying in Azerbaijan and in France.

The significance of this off is how much track time it cost him. It left Tsunoda bottom of the mileage chart, level with Kimi Raikkonen – who missed FP1 so Robert Kubica could drive.

Driver Friday mileage (km)
Gasly 254
Sainz 245
Stroll 241
Ocon 241
Schumacher 241
Latifi 237
Bottas 232
Alonso 232
Leclerc 232
Vettel 232
Ricciardo 232
Russell 232
Hamilton 228
Norris 223
Mazepin 223
Verstappen 197
Perez 188
Giovinazzi 145
Kubica* 101
Tsunoda 92
Raikkonen* 92

*One session each

“I’m really disappointed with today, I made a mistake in FP1 and it meant that I’ve lost more than a session’s worth of running,” said Tsunoda.

“The rear of the car felt very nervous, especially in high-speed corners, and I was losing a lot of time there compared to Pierre.

“I was trying to improve in those areas, but I lost control of the car and I went into the wall.

Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri F1 crash

“Unfortunately, the gearbox was damaged, and the team had to work really hard to get my car ready for the afternoon.

“The mechanics did a really good job getting the car fixed before the end of the session, so I was able to get one push lap in during FP2.

“It was really helpful for both the engineers and I to get this, so we can review the data tonight.”

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