Tsunoda thwarted by traffic and weighbridge summons

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) AlphaTauri AT02. 16.07.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, British Grand Prix, Silverstone
© XPB 

Yuki Tsunoda blamed on-track congestion for failing to make the cut at the end of the first round of qualifying in Friday evening's session at Silverstone.

He also revealed that being called to the weighbridge at a crucial moment had adversely affected his chances of improving his time at the end of Q1.

Tsunoda missed out on progressing to Q2 by just 0.026s and will start tomorrow's sprint race from 16th on the grid, with the possibility of improving his grid spot for Sunday's British Grand Prix.

"Going into qualifying after just one session was always going to be difficult," the Japanese rookie told the media after the end of the session.

“After FP1 I’d started to get used to the circuit, but I had a lot of traffic and never managed to put together a perfect lap,"

"It’s a shame to be out in Q1 today, but the field was really tight at the end and I struggled again with traffic on my final push lap."

He added that being one of the cars randomly selected to stop on the weighbridge had also added to his problems. Having pitted for fresh tyres, Tsunoda was stationary for 52 seconds before he could continue.

“The weighbridge f****d everything,” he fumed. Although he completed one push lap, he had to rush his cooldown lap before starting his final run.

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) AlphaTauri AT02. 16.07.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

He then found himself in a queue consisting of Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo and only just managed to cross the line with ten seconds to spare.

“The end was really tight and I couldn’t do much [of a] proper cooldown lap," he explained. "Also the last corners, a lot of cars [were] waiting

"I lost already three-tenths in the main straight. I almost regained the three-tenths through the lap but the loss I already had in sector one, the main straight [was too great]."

Despite failing to make the cut, Tsunoda felt that he's made progress during the course of the day.

"The second lap time, even [if] it was not a perfect lap due to the traffic, I started to get used to it, the driving," he stated. “I start to feel confidence. It feels like I can start now.

"But it’s already finished in Q1. Everything is f****d from the weighbridge, and last corner traffic," he sighed.

Pierre Gasly (FRA) AlphaTauri AT02. 16.07.2021. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, British Grand Prix, Silverstone

"Starting tomorrow from P16 I think will be difficult, but I’ll give it everything I’ve got during sprint qualifying and we’ll see what I can do.”

While his team mate Pierre Gasly did make it through to the second round, the French driver eventually topped out in 12th position which is where he will start tomorrow's spring tace.

“Since FP1 we’ve struggled with the car balance, far more than usual," Gasly said. "We made some changes for qualifying, but it just wasn’t enough.

"I was happy with my lap in Q2 but as I crossed the line, I knew it wasn’t going to be enough. It was just so tight out there today.

"I think it’s going to be hard the next few days, because we can’t make changes to the car anymore," he continued. "We only have FP2 to understand the tyre better ahead of the sprint qualifying and Sunday’s race.

"But we’ll fight as hard as always. It’s a different format and lots of things can happen, you never know.”

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