AlphaTauri became the fifth team to reveal their 2023 livery ahead of the new season tonight. Alongside the car reveal, interviews were had with all the key players within the team. One of them was with Team Principal Franz Tost, and in it, he laid out pretty clear expectations for one of his two drivers…
It’s fair to say that Yuki Tsunoda has had a tough time in F1 so far. Two seasons in, the Japanese driver has managed just 11 points finishes out of the 42 Grands Prix he’s started. Last season, he lost out against teammate and bromance partner Pierre Gasly 23-12 on points.
Now you could make an argument that AlphaTauri sinking to ninth in the Constructors’ Championship last season didn’t help, but Franz Tost reckons they’re set to bounce back stronger in 2023, and expects Yuki’s results to come with it.
Here’s what he said about Yuki’s expectations going into the season:
“Last year, Yuki struggled with the car. This year, as I expect we will have quite a competitive car, Yuki must always aim to be in Qualifying 3 and finish the races in the points. He is a very highly skilled driver and now has a lot of experience with two seasons in Formula 1. For this reason, of course, he has to score many more points than he did last year.”
Now, that might sound a little bit harsh to lay out strong expectations before a wheel has even been turned in anger; but to be fair, Yuki agrees with his boss:
“My main goal is to perform more consistently in every race, independently from the car’s performance, and to score points more reliably. I want to be more in control of myself at all times, work well with the team, and understand the car as quickly as possible, right from the first race in Bahrain. I want this year to be my best performance of the three years in terms of getting to Q3 and scoring points.”
Is this a make-or-break season for Yuki Tsunoda?