Derby of Asia
Formula 1 does not thrive only on fighting at the top and in Sunday’s Spanish GP one of the most interesting battles and fun for viewers to follow was the one that pitted against it Zhou Guanyu and Yuki Tsunoda. The all-Asian derby was won by the Chinese from Alfa Romeo who, despite crossing the finish line behind his rival, was able to snatch ninth position in the standings thanks to sanction imposed by the race stewards to the young Japanese talent.
The penalty attributed to the AlphaTauri driver was the minimum foreseen – five seconds – but he had disastrous effects on the result of #22. Tsunoda in fact in the final order of arrival is crashed from ninth to 12th position, seeing those championship points that would have been fundamental for him and for the entire Faenza team fade away. The decision of the commissioners came for one defending the position too hard carried by Tsunoda on the occasion of Zhou’s overtaking attempt ten laps from the end of the race.
The Chinese attacked from the outside, but Tsunoda widened his trajectory, forcing his opponent to swerve onto the asphalt escape route. The decision to penalize the Italian team’s driver was much discussed, given that the two single-seaters never actually made contact. There But Race Direction was adamant and clearly justified his thoughts in the statement that traditionally accompanies the attribution of sanctions, also punishing Tsunoda with a penalty point on the licence.
The explanation of the FIA
“Car #24 was ahead of and behind the apex of turn 1 and therefore, according to the guidelines, he was entitled to space. Car #22 instead moved to the outside of the corner, forcing the #24 off the track“. This was the motivation given by the stewards, which however did not convince the person concerned at all. Tsunoda in fact, even at the end of the race, complained in a vibrant way, strongly supporting of having left sufficient leeway for Zhou.
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