Yuki Tsunoda looks back on the American Grand Prix with great pleasure. The Japanese AlphaTauri driver finished in the top ten for the first time in almost three months.
Tsunoda had a good qualifying on Saturday. He was eventually even allowed to start in Q3. However, in his drive to reach that decisive stage of qualifying, he had set his fastest time in Q2 on the soft tyre. That meant that he had to start the race on that compound as well. Not really an optimal choice on the hot and demanding Circuit of the Americas.
Still, Tsunoda did a good job on the softs, which have more grip than the mediums and worked well at the start. “Yes, I was able to maximize that advantage on the first lap and managed to overtake two cars,” the Japanese looked back.
AlphaTauri soon saw Pierre Gasly drop out and that put some more pressure on Tsunoda’s shoulders. “We had to save the tires and I had a bigger responsibility to score points, especially when it comes to the team championship.” Finally it worked. Tsunoda finished in ninth place, taking two valuable points. It was his first points since the Hungarian Grand Prix on August 1. “I didn’t want to let any car, no driver pass easily. It was a matter of doing my thing, I am quite satisfied. I enjoyed the fight.” His race engineer took a different view. Mattia Spini praised Tsunoda’s performance, even calling it “the best race you’ve driven this year.”
In the Constructors’ Championship, AlphaTauri now has 94 points. The team is slightly catching up to Alpine, which is fifth, but has not scored any points. Aston Martin, who is seventh and managed to score one point with Sebastian Vettel, was also at least distanced.