Yuki Tsunoda’s qualifying in Imola was the complete opposite to his experience in Bahrain last time out. In Bahrain he finished Q1 in P2. Today, he was in the wall.
Yuki crashed massively on his first flying lap at Variante Alta and destroyed his AlphaTauri. It was a huge hit with the wall and the session was red flagged immediately. Thankfully he was all OK and got out of the car straight away.
He lost the back of the car mid-corner and corrected it, which then turned the car the other way and went straight into the barrier. The back of the car was absolutely wrecked. It was a surprise that it managed to stay vaguely intact when they were clearing it.
It's going to be late night for those AlphaTauri mechanics 🛠
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 17, 2021
“I was just pushing too much in the entry,” he told F1 after the shunt. “I just had some massive instability in the entry and a massive slap, and couldn’t control that car. It just spun into the barrier. Until that, our pace was really good.
“I saw the sectors, they were quite good. Potentially, the car was amazing today. I just made this huge mistake. Really sorry for the team and just going to try and come back tomorrow.
“In the qualifying the car felt great and I think the race pace tomorrow is going to be quite good too. Just need to analyse the data and improve myself and drive my best tomorrow.”
Tsunoda in the wall with heavy damage! 💥
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) April 17, 2021
Yuki hadn’t set a laptime and will now be last on the grid with the Haas cars and Alfa Romeos ahead of him.
He already has experience recovering from near the back of the grid in F1 last time out in Bahrain. He was able to race his way back to the points, but Imola is a different challenge to Bahrain. Even getting past a few much slower cars is going to be a struggle for Yuki tomorrow.
He’ll definitely be hoping for some rain chaos to make the most of.