For the third time this season Yuki Tsunoda managed to enter Q3 making the most of the Pirelli soft bikes on Saturday and started in the race from eighth position on the grid.
The AlphaTauri driver, who started in front of Lewis Hamilton due to the ten penalty positions served by the Englishman for changing the thermal unit, managed to keep the seven-time world champion behind him for a few laps thanks also to a solid defense, but on lap eight the Mercedes driver pulled the rabbit out of the hat with a masterpiece overtaking outside turn 3.
Tsunoda, who demanded too much of his tires in those phases, then spun on lap 22 and finished the race out of the points.
At the end of the race that allowed Max Verstappen to get back to the top of the driver standings, the AlphaTauri rider explained that he defended himself with his teeth from Hamilton precisely to favor the Dutchman of Red Bull.
“I want Max to win in Honda’s last year in Formula 1, and I also want Red Bull to win, so I tried to block Lewis as much as possible, I don’t know for how many laps.”
“I was trying to save the tires and I wanted to keep him behind for 20 laps. Eight was not enough.”
Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12, and Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Tsunoda finished the race in fourteenth position after spun. The Japanese, as did Mazepin and Norris, complained of poor visibility in the rear-view mirrors which misled him.
“I couldn’t see anything because of the dirt. I thought there was a car behind me and pushed. Then I turned around ”.
“The spin ruined my race. It was a shame because today I could have scored points ”.
The regret for Tsunoda was also great because, with his mistake, Alpine continues to lead AlphaTauri in the Constructors by a margin of 15 points.
“Today we had an opportunity to take home many points compared to our direct rivals.”