Tsunoda on the cusp of points: “I showed my potential”

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Despite a second consecutive finish just outside of the points, Alpha Tauri driver Yuki Tsunoda has been pleased with his performance thus far in the 2023 season. Speaking after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, he said: “At least I showed my potential, my performance. That’s the most important thing. If I keep fighting like this I think there’s at some point a big chance, more than this one. If that happens I just have to maximise the opportunity.”

Photo: F1.com

The pair of 11th place finishes have been an overperformance from a car that has only made it out of Q1 once in four attempts. Tsunoda “expected much worse than that so good job from the engineers and mechanics”, but added that the car still needed “a couple of tenths, more consistently in the pace, to find the points.”

In addition to general pace, Tsunoda also hinted at some possible durability issues standing between him and the team and those first points.

“Some things, I had to back off to maintain the condition [of] the car, or else we possibly couldn’t finish the race.”

He didn’t specify what the concern was over, however, or if it may have been related to similar concerns in the closing stages of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from fellow Honda RBPT driver Max Verstappen.

Photo: F1.com

There is an update for the AT04 coming for the upcoming Australian Grand Prix, and, while there is hope for progress, Tsunoda is muted in his expectations.

“We don’t know what specific updates we are going to have but I kind of know the idea of what we are going to have.[…] I won’t expect too high but obviously I’m just going to do the same job as the last two races, and hopefully more [and if] the car is good just score points.”