Yuki Tsunoda has momentum going into the Hungarian Grand Prix having headed both FIA F2 Practice and Qualifying in the last two rounds.
The Japanese driver has started by stamping his mark on the weekend. He was fastest in practice and qualifying and looked set to win the feature race. That was until he lost his radio communication and stretched his tyre run too far.
By the time he had come out of the pit, the Japanese driver didn’t have enough time to close down first place despite a valiant effort. Second place did however provide a debut podium for Tsunoda in his first season in F2.
Fellow Red Bull Junior and Carlin teammate Jehan Daruvala recorded a good ninth position in the sprint race, just outside the points, while Tsunoda with technical problems.
Tsunoda commented last weekend that: “In free practice, we had confidence from last week that we had the pace. So, I just drove like a qualifying sim. The car was good, I was doing ok so I was able to get the P1 in free practice.
“Of course, in qualifying we expected to be P1. Finally, I could take P1. I was very happy with that. The car was good and I was very happy to get pole position in an FIA F2 race, a good achievement, a big step for me and I think a good thing for the team.
“Race one in the rain condition, I had good pace at the beginning, I just tried to manage the tyres and I think we had a good pace. I realised that the radio was broken only on the lap before I came into the pits. So, it was quite late and also we had a bit of a slow stop, that can happen, I don’t complain about that.
“After that, the pace was good, I came to P2 and tried to catch P1. I just pushed too much in the beginning and used all the tyre. That was my mistake and at the end there was not enough pace to pass for P1 in the last laps. 100% there was potential to get P1 so it’s a bit sad but I am still happy to get my first podium in Formula 2.
The driver was clearly upset at the outcome given the performance he has shown at both Austrian rounds of the season so far but was also resolute and focused on looking ahead not back; “I don’t know what the problem was but saw white smoke, coming from the rear right I think, hopefully not the engine but that was it for the race, we will move on.”
Moving on quickly as part of our triple header Tsunoda is clearly eager to get going at a circuit he likes, “I like the Hungaroring, I think it’s the track with the highest grip.”
Can he carry on his impressive form in Hungary, the Honda driver thinks so, “Of course I am going to try my best again, hopefully I can get some big points there for the championship. Our Quali pace is really good, I think we still have to work on the race pace. I think that for me it is not enough compared with the top three guys so that is our priority this weekend.”
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