Yuki Tsunoda, the Japanese Formula 1 driver for AlphaTauri, has admitted that he is concerned about the upcoming Baku Grand Prix due to the poor straightline speed of his AT04 car. Tsunoda finished 10th in the Australian GP but noted that his struggle with straight-line speed was “horrible”, and that the issue could be “crazy” during the upcoming sprint format in Baku. He suggested that the team could potentially remove some wing to increase speed in the straight sections. Tsunoda’s team only had two examples of the brand-new floor, which was damaged in FP1. Nyck De Vries used the other one from FP2 onwards, allowing for a back-to-back comparison for the whole weekend.
Despite the struggles, Tsunoda found a positive in the Melbourne weekend by showcasing a strong comeback during the final grid restart. He weaved his way through the chaos from 13th to fifth and was estimated to be in P5 or P6 without the following incidents that altered the grid order. Although Tsunoda expressed some frustration, he felt P10 was an achievement and that the result was unexpected given the difficulties he faced throughout the race. Tsunoda had a difficult weekend with his car’s straight-line speed a concern, which could be an issue in the upcoming Baku Grand Prix. The Japanese driver’s AlphaTauri was 17th fastest at the second intermediate timing point in Albert Park’s fastest speed trap, compared to the eventual winner, Perez‘s Red Bull which logged 339.9 km/h at the same point.
Tsunoda had an unfortunate clash with Oscar Piastri, his McLaren rival. Although the stewards took no further action as it appears Piastri may have turned in on Tsunoda during the race, Tsunoda remains optimistic about his chances for the Baku Grand Prix. Despite the difficult start in Melbourne, Tsunoda’s overall confidence is high due to the team’s performance and the progress they have made throughout the season.