The brilliant start to the season by Yuki Tsunoda, between the flashes shown in the winter tests and a particularly positive first weekend in Bahrain, he perhaps deluded about the real possibilities of the young Japanese rookie. From the Imola appointment onwards, however, the star of Pierre Gasly, now a top-driver ‘done and finished’ and above all a fundamental point of reference for the team from Faenza. If before the championship it was foreseeable that the Frenchman could have the better of his rookie box mate, he still leaves impressed the margin carved by the former partner of Max Verstappen in Red Bull on the young man from Sagamihara in the first 11 GPs of 2021.
In qualifying, for example, Gasly managed to complete the first half of the championship by doing ‘coat’ to his teammate. A heavy 11-0, especially looking at the accesses in the various sessions: 11-5 the data on the entrances in Q2, 9-3 those referring to the top-10. Tsunoda also, like the other two rookies of this season – Mazepin and Schumacher – showed a certain tendency to accidents. In fact, there were two qualifications that the Red Bull / Honda school talent was forced to skip due to driving errors: in Imola and in France.
|Average detachment Q.||+0.508|
In the race, however, in a slow but steady way, Tsunoda is improving his performances. Not surprisingly, four of his five top-10 finishes have come in the last six races. Gasly, on the other hand, is now an acquired certainty. The peak of the season came on the occasion of the ‘crazy’ race in Baku, in which the driver from Rouen took the third podium in the last three seasons. But throughout the first part of the season Gasly traveled steadily in the points. There were eight of his top-10 finishes out of nine races completed. The only exception was Silverstone, where he was penalized by a puncture in the final phase of the race. The 50 points won, against Tsunoda’s 18, clearly testify to the performance gap currently existing between the two drivers.