Does Palmer’s Analysis Vindicate McLaren’s Norris-Tsunoda Claim?

Published 06/10/2021, 7:40 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 6, 2021 AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly celebrates with team members after finishing in third place Pool via REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Last weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix almost had Yuki Tsunoda in trouble during the race, which many failed to notice. The Japanese driver did secure an impressive P7 for AlphaTauri, but not before drawing attention from the McLaren F1 team, who subsequently reported to the Race Director, Michael Masi.


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Much like Mercedes at the Spanish Grand Prix, F1 revealed a radio conversation between Masi and one of the teams at Baku. Only this time, it was McLaren.

The British outfit claimed that Tsunoda never slowed down for both the double-waved yellow flags, flying flat out on the main straight.


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So, Michael, for both incidents’ safety cars, Tsunoda did not slow down. So, a surprise it hasn’t been investigated. His is obvious Michael.

“He hasn’t lifted whatsoever,” the team said. However, Masi denied investigating into the matter, as he felt the entire grid failed to oblige to the yellow flag rules.

Jolyon Palmer’s Analysis: Data showing Tsunoda and Gasly didn’t lift at all when passing through Verstappen’s crash from formula1

Quite simply for me, the entire field should be penalized for not slowing for double yellows,” Masi said.

Interestingly, former F1 driver, Jolyon Palmer, reviewed the incident with the data he had. And quite shockingly, McLaren’s claims turned out to be absolutely true.


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Palmer analyzes McLaren F1’s claim on Yuki Tsunoda

While analyzing the incident, Palmer opined that McLaren’s claims were reasonable, as data suggested Tsunoda never took his foot off the gas.

What’s more, it was the same with Tsunoda’s teammate, Pierre Gasly, who went on to secure his first podium of the season.

Verstappen crashes at the final sector and you can see the divergence in speed at the end of the long straight. Lando Norris knocks off a lot of speed. 261 km/hr for Norris,” Palmer said.

The throttle chase, the red line (Tsunoda), and the pink line (Gasly) are absolutely flat out. No lift whatsoever from Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly. 

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

Tsunoda’s coming past the waved yellow flags, Verstappen on the side of the road. Debris as well in the middle of the track. He’s coming past flat out, 321 km/hr – frightening speed. No wonder McLaren thought they should raise this to Michael Masi.


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Luckily, AlphaTauri managed to escape the wrath of the stewards this time around. This is because most of the drivers failed to slow down enough, and penalizing only the two drivers would have caused a massive uproar from AlphaTauri.

However, it is likely that Masi will keep a closer look at the data at Le Castellet. Hence, will the approaching weekend in France witness the stewards offering more penalties to the drivers?


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Watch Story: Shortest F1 Drivers Ever Featuring Yuki Tsunoda & Lando Norris




Rohit Kumar

1137 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.