Tsunoda relishing ‘fight’ as Ricciardo pressure applied


Yuki Tsunoda feels the arrival of Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri has piled “pressure” to deliver Formula 1 results.

Ricciardo was drafted into the team ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix after Nyck de Vries was sacked following poor performances, with eight-time race winner Ricciardo joining on loan from Red Bull.

Tsunoda managed to grab a points finish in their second race together in Belgium, and feels that Ricciardo has already taught him lessons in how to work with the team and put the pressure on the Japanese racer to follow suit.

Ricciardo pressure

“It is actually quite challenging but at the same time, I know this current situation is completely new for me,” Tsunoda explained to media including RacingNews365 after a third points finish of the season at Spa.

“I’m learning a lot especially being challenged by an experienced driver, and not just a normal experienced driver.

“[Daniel] is a top driver and we know that he is fast but also how he is behaving with the team is opposite to me.

“There are a lot of things I’ve learnt from him. It has also put a bit of pressure on myself and that probably made me rush and make a couple of mistakes in the last couple of races.

“But I was able to put it all together [at Spa]. It was not easy.

“I am happy and feeling ready for a fight with him in the second half of the season.”

Spa bounceback

Tsunoda was beaten by Ricciardo in the Hungarian Grand Prix, coming home 15th to Ricciardo’s 13th, but was able to out-perform the Australian in Belgium.

He put this down to recovering a lost feeling with the AT04 that he enjoyed at the start of the season.

“Consistency was key, especially last year, so I was able to improve. In the first races [of 2023], I was happy [in the car and] I knew why,” he said.

“I was slightly in a bit of comfort zone, and I had kind of rhythm. After Barcelona, there was two races that I lost the points in an unfortunate way.

“Since then, I started to lose the rhythm, and I recognised the amount I have to improve still, and in the last couple of races tried to maintain the consistency as much as possible.”

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