Tsunoda: “Hard to accept the reality” of losing points after “really harsh” penalty

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There was late heartbreak for Yuki Tsunoda as a 5-second penalty was awarded to the Japanese driver late in the race for forcing Zhou Guanyu off the track at turn 1 on lap 56.

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Tsunoda had once again done a fantastic job during the Grand Prix as he moved up from P15 on the grid to cross the line in 9th. Unfortunately due to his penalty, he dropped to P12.

The 23-year-old made up 3 places on the opening lap and continued his charge through the field in the opening stint as he passed Hülkenberg and Piastri to move into the points.

One of the highlights of the race was a superb move on the Alfa Romeo of Guanyu around the outside at turn 4 on lap 14.

He ran as high as P7 at one point before falling to 9th as Alonso and Pérez came through in much faster machinery.

Tsunoda then had to defend from Guanyu with 11 laps to go as the Chinese driver tried to make an ambitious pass around the outside into turn 1. He went off the road and rejoined behind the AlphaTauri driver.

A penalty would be issued to Tsunoda a few laps later for allegedly forcing another driver off the track.

Understandably Tsunoda was pretty dejected after the race following a tremendous performance. The Japanese star explained what happened from his point of view.

“To be honest, I gave it literally everything every lap. I feel like it’s really harsh that penalty from my perspective, to be honest.

“There’s still space there and the other car [Zhou Guanyu] suddenly runs off the track and pretends like he got forced [off] but there was still space. He could still stay on the track from my perspective.

“It’s just hard to accept the reality that I lost points after that big race. So yeah, just disappointed.”