Tsunoda apologetic for crash after 'pushing too hard' in Q1

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Yuki Tsuonoda was worthy of the praise he received after his points-scoring finish in Bahrain last month, but the AlphaTauri rookie came crashing down to earth in qualifying at Imola.

The Saturday afternoon session had just got underway when the Japanese driver heavily clouted the barrier at the Variante Alta chicane, severely damaging the rear end of his AT02 and triggering a red flag.

Tsunoda immediately owned up to the blunder which he said was a case of simply "pushing too hard".

"The crash today in qualifying was my mistake and I want to apologise to the team – I was pushing too hard into the entry of the chicane and just couldn’t control the car after that," said the 20-year-old.

"It’s a shame because up until that corner the car felt really good and it was a strong lap – I think we could’ve gotten through to Q2 on just one compound."

Looking ahead to Sunday's race which he is set to start dead last, Tsunoda will have his work cut out for him. But the AlphaTauri charger will start afresh and give it his all.

"I believe there’s the potential for rain at the start of tomorrow’s race, so anything can happen, and I’ll try to push as hard as I can to make my way forward from the back.

"The car looks really good, so I’ll just reset my mind tonight and jump back in the car tomorrow to go racing."

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