Tsunoda questions AlphaTauri equality after Q1 exit

Glenn Dunbar/Motorsport Images

Tsunoda questions AlphaTauri equality after Q1 exit

Formula 1

Tsunoda questions AlphaTauri equality after Q1 exit


Yuki Tsunoda suggested he may not have the same equipment as teammate Pierre Gasly after dropping out in Q1 at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Japanese rookie impressed in his opening race in Bahrain but a crash in qualifying in Imola left him on the back foot and he spun having climbed back into the points. After another tough weekend in Portugal, Tsunoda was eliminated in Q1 in Spain after dipping a wheel in the gravel on his final attempt, but was left questioning his car’s performance after seeing Gasly advance in fifth place.

“No, I was not pushing too hard on the out-lap — just did normal and the tire temperature was quite spot-on before the lap,” Tsunoda said. “I just feel from my side like the other car is really slow compared to my car, especially the out-lap. I don’t know why they’re slow, I think most of the cars are slower than me.

“But my team, we set up the tire to be faster, I don’t know … it’s not the place I want to fight. The performance in this car is easy to get through to Q2 but I really struggled to even get through to Q2.

“I don’t know (what’s going on). Like I said, it’s always different feedback compared to my teammate. Every time it’s opposite, so I have a little bit of a question mark if it’s the same car… the character of the car is too different. Maybe of course it’s just the driving style, but I don’t know what’s happened and why I’m struggling this much.”

Gasly was fifth in Q1 — splitting the two Red Bull cars — and 0.36s faster than his teammate, but eventually dropped out in Q2 and will start from 12th, four positions ahead of Tsunoda.