Red Bull has decided to move Yuki Tsunoda closer to the AlphaTauri factory in Italy in order to try and improve his form after a run of tough races.
Tsunoda was impressive in pre-season testing and the first race in Bahrain, but then crashed in qualifying in Imola and his season has unravelled since. A spin in that race stopped him scoring points, and he hasn’t finished higher than 15th in the following three rounds, leading to a change of scenery for the rookie who was previously based in the UK.
“Yeah, I think we did a little bit different approach to this race week,” Tsunoda said. “I moved to Italy and did lots of prep at the factory with the engineers almost every day last week.
“It’s completely new for me — we did quite a lot of different things compared to previous races. Hopefully that works well. First time in Azerbaijan, like Monaco, and a street circuit, so I need quite good confidence with the car before qualifying. Hopefully I don’t do mistakes like in FP2 two weeks ago, and build up confidence. I have to use that experience and do it better.”
Tsunoda says the move is one he was pushing for earlier in the year, and he is pleased to be able to swap the British weather for better conditions in Italy.
“I got told when I was in Monaco, I think it was on Saturday. Basically, when I crashed in FP2, it was not a good thing and I think Red Bull was not happy at that. We were talking to AlphaTauri that it’s good to have a little bit change for me as the last three or four races I haven’t had good races, and to change something we need a big difference.
“They decided for me to move to Italy to have more chance to spend time with the engineers, go to the factory more often and talk about the car. For me that’s a good decision. Actually I was asking Red Bull from the beginning of the season to move to Italy and at first they said no, so I was staying in Milton Keynes but now I can go to Italy, that’s positive for me.
“And generally I like Italy more — their food is nice, the weather is much nicer, so yeah, for me everything’s positive. Hopefully this goes well for my performance in the race.”