Wednesday, May 22, 2024

AlphaTauri’s Jody Egginton: Tsunoda Strategy Gamble, “didn’t work out”

Scuderia AlphaTauri came away from the Canadian Grand Prix without any points, leaving them bottom of the Constructors Championship with Alex Albon and Williams Racing making a huge leap up into ninth, after finishing seventh in the race, to pull themselves five points ahead of the Italian team.

Yuki Tsunoda qualified poorly and was later handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Charles Leclerc in qualifying meaning the Japanese driver started nineteenth on the grid for the race. AlphaTauri Technical Director, Jody Egginton explained that the team tried to differ the strategy to help Tsunoda recover and get back into contention to challenge for points.

“Yesterday’s qualifying positions made today’s race more difficult than it needed to be. This, combined with Yuki’s three-place penalty, forced us into trying something different and unfortunately, it didn’t work out. We made a very early stop with Yuki to use the free air to recover race time.

“The strategy was working quite well and Yuki got back into the pack, however, losing a bit of time behind Magnussen on older tyres, the decision was made to convert to a two-stop. This cost a bit more track position than expected due to a slow stop so ultimately, we couldn’t get back to the pack led by Albon.”

Nyck de Vries failed to score points again, but Egginton did admit that strategy was once again at fault, with the Dutchman pitting one lap before the safety car and losing out on a potential undercut. De Vries also had an incident with Kevin Magnussen and together with being stuck in traffic and having to adhere to blue flags, the Dutchman lost too much race time to be in content for a points finish,

“Nyck’s race was mainly in traffic and unfortunately, his first stop was made the lap before the safety car, meaning he wasn’t able to take advantage of the undercut. Subsequent contact with Magnussen later in the race cost him more time, along with a raft of blue flags.

“We need to review Yuki’s race to determine if sticking with the one-stop strategy could have potentially provided a better result. In terms of pace, had we managed to qualify further up the grid and been able to utilise a more conventional strategy, I believe we could’ve scored points today.

Despite making strategy errors, Egginton admitted that the team’s poor qualifying session on the Saturday was at fault for their struggles in the race and he has demanded they improve, especially with the latest improvements that Williams have made.

“Qualifying was the key aspect of the weekend, and we need to be executing better going forwards, so we’re better placed to start scoring and recovering from our current situation where we are dropping points, and letting our closest competitors move away from us in the Constructors’ championship.”