On Wednesday in Imola, Honda protégé Yuki Tsunoda worked a day on tests with AlphaTauri, having driven more than three hundred kilometers in a car two years ago. The team was satisfied with the work of the Japanese racer – next time Yuki will sit behind the wheel of the already up-to-date AT01 car at the youth tests in Abu Dhabi.
Franz Toast, Team Leader: “We did very productive tests in Imola with Yuki Tsunoda, who covered 352 kilometers. In the morning the track was wet, so the day had to be started on rain tires. Despite this, Yuuki immediately found a common language with the car, and after switching to slicks immediately drove faster than made a strong enough impression on us.
After a lunch break, we continued working on a new set of tires. Yuki added circle after circle, showing that he was comfortable in the car. He provided the team with valuable feedback on the behavior of the car, which was in line with our expectations. On the last set of laps, we ran a simulated race and Yuki showed a stable speed – clear proof that he was in control.
We look forward to working with Yuki on the test in Abu Dhabi, where he will drive the AlphaTauri for the youth test. “
Yuki Tsunoda: “Today I got behind the wheel of Formula 1 for the first time – it was fun! The car is fundamentally different from the Formula 2, which I drive this season, especially the noticeable difference in power and brake efficiency.
I did not pay attention to the times on the circle, as the task was to get comfortable behind the wheel and drive 300 kilometers. I’m glad I was able to do this.
I trained a lot before the tests, but at the end of the day I still feel tired. Nevertheless, I am very pleased with the experience. The racer has to perform a lot more actions while driving Formula 1, but I mastered all the switches on the steering wheel in the simulator.
We met with the AlphaTauri engineers last month when I was going through the seat fitting. They are very friendly and we have a good relationship. Of course, when it came to discussing the Honda powerplant, I could speak Japanese, which made things easier.
In general, the day turned out to be fun. This is partly due to the fact that the tests were passed on such a high-speed track. There are two more Formula 2 stages and four races ahead of me. I will try to focus on each session of the two weekends, and after they finish we will evaluate the results. “