Tsunoda: I don’t care about team leader role


Yuki Tsunoda says he is not concerned by any team leader status at AlphaTauri in 2023, following the arrival of Nyck de Vries.

Next year the Japanese driver will enter his third full season in Formula 1, and his first season as the more experienced driver at a team.

Having raced against Pierre Gasly in his first two seasons, Tsunoda has generally served in a supporting role to the Frenchman, who has accumulated more points in their time together.

With Gasly moving to Alpine for 2023, AlphaTauri have signed Nyck de Vries, who impressed in his F1 debut at Williams at the Italian GP.

Despite Tsunoda being more experienced than de Vries, the Dutchman is around five years older and has spent a couple of years driving different F1 cars, raising questions about which driver will become the ‘team leader’.

When asked about his status for next season, Tsunoda responded by placing more importance on being the quicker driver and attaining ‘number one’ status through race results.

“The faster guy is going to lead the team anyway, so I don’t care if I’m team leader or not just, I’m just focused on my job,” Tsunoda told media, including RacingNews365.com.

“There are lots of things to improve. Obviously, I’m more responsible for this year because Pierre’s going to leave, but I still have confidence that I can achieve that and come back stronger.”

Tsunoda targeting consistency gains in 2023

In his second full season in the sport, Tsunoda’s campaign featured some costly errors, which will increase the pressure to succeed in 2023.

A clumsy crash when exiting the Canadian GP pit lane was followed up by a collision with his teammate at the British GP.

Another points opportunity was lost at the wet Singapore GP when he crashed into the barrier.

The 22-year-old acknowledged the errors, adding that he is targeting improved consistency in 2023.

“I think overall I’ve made pretty good progress every race this season. I am satisfied with the form in which I finished this year,” added Tsunoda.

“Of course I still have a lot to improve, especially the consistency, but at least I am clear about the goal for next year.”

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