Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Yuki Tsunoda: “I’m quite optimistic that, going into this race week, we can make a step forward”

Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda said that he is looking forward to testing out the new aerodynamic changes coming in for the British Grand Prix, and feels that a “step forward” is around the corner for the team after a couple of difficult weekends.

“I think nearly all the drivers like Silverstone, I certainly do. Most corners are high-speed and, as we’re expecting some more significant aero upgrades for this round, I’m quite optimistic that, going into this race week, we can make a step forward.”

Moving back to the standard three practices for Silverstone Circuit, Tsunoda said that it will be beneficial to use the time to work through the new upgrades, which will be a major indicator of what’s to come in the second half of the 2023 season.

“We go back to the usual weekend format after the Sprint in Austria, and that means we will have more time to thoroughly test the updates, which is a good thing as this race will be an important one in terms of what we can expect for the next part of the season.”

The “classic” Silverstone venue holds some great memories for the Japanese driver, who had a very successful weekend there while he was competing in Formula 2. As well, he said that the track layout and energetic atmosphere make it a favorite stop on the calendar for him. 

“A perfect car for Silverstone is quite similar in some ways to what you need in Austria – low drag and a good amount of load. Silverstone and the British Grand Prix have a lot of history, we have our wind tunnel and aero people based not far away in Bicester, and I really love the track itself. It’s very cool and classic, and I enjoy driving it a lot.”

“It has good memories as I won the F2 Sprint race here a few years ago and also finished on the podium in the Feature race. I can also appreciate that the atmosphere there is quite unique as the UK is a special country in terms of motorsport and is very important for Formula 1.”

“The margins are so small that execution is key” – Nyck de Vries

Team-mate Nyck de Vries is aiming for a clean weekend at Silverstone Circuit and hopes to pull closer to the points positions after a difficult weekend in Austria that saw him near the end of the pack throughout. 

Silverstone is a familiar venue for De Vries, who has taken on the track in several different series. He described the circuit as one of the season’s quickest, with a great share of high-speed turns, as well as a more “unpredictable” venue when it comes to weather conditions.

“Silverstone is a track I know well. I’ve raced there in various single-seater categories and even in the World Endurance Championship. It is a very quick track, I think one of the quickest on the calendar, with a large number of high-speed corners. 

“With our cars, they are so quick through those corners that you’re looking at taking downforce off because everything is full throttle. At those speeds, the wind is often a factor as the circuit is so flat and open, and the weather can often be unpredictable. It’s a historic place in the heart of Formula 1 and motorsport because the core of our industry is based around Silverstone.”

With the midfield being as tight as it is, De Vries said that it won’t be clear where the team stands on the performance front going into the weekend, and that they’ll have to operate smoothly and avoid any setbacks in order to be in contention for points. 

“Whether the track will suit our car is the same question everyone always asks, but I think, looking at the midfield, it’s impossible to predict whether your performance will be strong or not. 

“The margins are so small that execution is key. When you execute a good, clean weekend, it makes all the difference, and you quickly get closer towards the top ten. Additionally, you’ve got to make the right decisions throughout the weekend to get the maximum potential out of the package you have.”

Credit: Ryan Pierse / Getty Images /Red Bull Content Pool