Scuderia AlphaTauri F1 team principal Franz Tost has warned that Yuki Tsunoda, who was penalized for ignoring yellow flags during FP2 at the Italian Grand Prix, needs to be “more disciplined”.
Yuki Tsunoda has been reprimanded five times this season and faced a loss of 10 grid places for driving without his seatbelt in the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix. Then at Monza he received a another three grid-place penalty for failing to slow at yellow flags, and two penalty points, bringing his total to eight in the past 12 months.
Yuki Tsunoda had already received a back-to-back penalty for using an extra power unit component, but Franz Tost was unimpressed with his mistake in FP2.
Asked about Yuki Tsunoda’s progress, Franz Tost said: “Look at qualifying at Zandvoort and FP1 here at Monza. In the car he is doing a very good job.”
“He has to control his emotions and ignoring the yellow flags in FP2 is not smart. He has to be more disciplined.”
“I know it’s tough in qualifying and in the race, but in free practice you kind of have to accept the yellow flags and react in the right way, which means you have to slow down.”
Yuki Tsunoda’s seatbelt crash happened at Zandvoort when he was told to restart and return to the pits after being stopped on the track with a suspected loose wheel. He then returned with a tire change, but was told to pull over as soon as the team confirmed there was a problem with the differential.
This led to unsubstantiated suggestions that it was time to trigger the virtual safety car that would allow Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen to pit to retain the lead, and even some conspiracy theories in the paddock of the rice field.
Franz Tost said he did not understand the reaction to what happened and explained how it happened.
“It was a surprise because I don’t think we did anything wrong,” said Franz Tost.
“I was frustrated that I didn’t finish the race because Yuki could have scored points. The differential failure was a real surprise. I didn’t have this problem before, so I reacted. I don’t understand
“Yuki made his second pit stop on lap 43. We put the tires hard. As soon as he left the pits, he said the tires were loose. I told you to stop
“I checked the data during this time and found that all the tires were tightened up, stopped, the tires were dirty with sand, the tire temperature had dropped.”
“He went in, changed the tire, and when he came out, the data showed that the rear differential was broken. That’s what Yuki already felt during the first pit stop there was”
“The differential pressure was progressive, so it was difficult to detect it immediately after the first pit stop, and the problem was very simple.
“We had no contact with Red Bull Racing during the race to answer questions. Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing do not need our help.”
“Yuki was in a good position to score points, so stopping the car during the race was not planned.”
As for Yuki Tsunoda, it was also a topic raised by Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto during the Italian F1 Grand Prix.
Mattia Binotto has apologized for calling Yuki Tsunoda a “tsunami”. His “bad joke” drew criticism in Japan for failing to consider sensitivities associated with the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake that killed 20,000 people.
“Obviously I have to apologise,” said Mattia Binotto.
“It was a mistake to use that word. I meant nothing wrong. Honestly, I knew I was very close to the victim.”
“I think Tsunoda is a fantastic driver and a great guy, and we have a good relationship between the two of us.”
“I called it a little joke, but it was a bad joke.”