Tost baffled by Red Bull's blasting of Tsunoda


AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost defended Yuki Tsunoda after the Japanese driver was deemed responsible by Red Bull for ruining the qualifying efforts of both Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen in Mexico City on Saturday.

Perez and Verstappen were running immediately behind Tsunoda in the final stages of Q3, when the latter took to the run-off area at Turns 10/11.

Perez was startled by the AlphaTauri driver's move and ran off the track as a consequence while Verstappen arrived on the scene to discover both cars running off course amid a cloud of dust.

The Dutchman held it together but was unable to challenge for pole, while Perez's was forced to rely on his second-best effort to qualify fourth.

Immediately after the session, Horner told Sky that both his drivers had been "Tsunoda'd", the Red Bull team boss pinning his team's underperformance on the Japanese driver who was just "cruising around".

"I don't understand why he was just cruising around at that part of the circuit," said Horner.

"Both [of our] drivers were up on their last lap. Max was up two and a half tenths, I think Checo was just under two tenths up.

"It was disappointing because it affected both the drivers."

Tsunoda later said that he had deliberately pulled off the track in order to not impede the charge of the two bulls. However, when told about Horner's comments, the 21-year-old became worried.

"I don’t know what they expected me to do," he said in the interview pen. "I went outside and I couldn’t do anything more. Where should I go?

"I’m a bit worried now because I’ll have to discuss it with Red Bull whether I did anything wrong."

But Tost defended his driver's on-track behaviour and was at a loss to understand Horner's criticism.

"He didn’t make a mistake, he did it deliberately," said the AlphaTauri boss. "We said to him Perez is coming and he deliberately went to the side not to disturb them or not to be in front of them.

"I absolutely don’t understand to be honest why Perez went also off the track there.

"Yuki went to the side as all the drivers do in qualifying to make place for the cars which are coming behind which are on a qualifying lap.

"He was not a qualifying lap. It’s easy as that. That’s why I don’t understand anything about this."


Hopefully, Horner will have come to realise that Tsunoda, who otherwise produced an impressive performance in qualifying in Mexico City, was not at fault and didn't deserve the criticism.

The young rookie has been struggling with confidence during his maiden F1 season, and a needless and unjustified lashing by Red Bull's top brass isn't what he needs.

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1 drivers

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter