How a Random Weighbridge Test ‘F**ked Everything’ for Tsunoda During Q1 Exit at Silverstone

Published 07/17/2021, 5:33 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Austria – June 24, 2021 AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda during the press conference Pool via REUTERS/Christian Bruna

It was a disappointing qualifying session for the AlphaTauri at the British Grand Prix with both of their drivers failing to secure a top 10 start for the inaugural F1 sprint race.


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Pierre Gasly will start from P12, whereas his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda, who didn’t make it out of Q1, will start Saturday’s sprint race from P16. And the latter blames random weighbridge checks for his latest Q1 elimination at Silverstone.

The weighbridge randomly checks the cars throughout the race weekend when they enter the pit lane. The 21-year-old lost crucial time at the weighbridge and later found himself stuck in traffic, which hampered his chances to qualify for Q2.


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What did Yuki Tsunoda say?

As quoted by, the youngster is understandably furious with the random weighbridge check which cost him crucial 52 seconds during the qualifying on Friday evening.

“The weighbridge f**ked everything. The end was really tight and I couldn’t do much [of a] proper cooldown lap,” said Yuki Tsunoda in the post-qualifying press conference.

Formula One F1 – Formula One – Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Baku City Circuit, Baku, Azerbaijan – June 3, 2021. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Anton Vaganov.

“Also the last corners, a lot of cars [were] waiting, I lost already three-tenths in the main straight. I almost regained the three-tenths through the lap but the loss I already had in sector one, the main straight [was too much].”

AlphaTauri engineer convinced Yuki would’ve qualified for Q2

While many might think Tsunoda is just making up excuses for his poor performance, AlphaTauri chief race engineer Jonathan Eddolls knows that’s not the case. He is sure that Yuki would’ve gotten into Q2 if he hadn’t encountered traffic.

“Yuki was looking set to progress into Q2, but a traffic jam in the last corner when starting his final lap cost him nearly 0.2s before turn one,” said Eddolls.

Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 27, 2021. AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in action during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed.

“He did well to make most of this time back, but sadly it was not enough,” added Eddolls.


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Had Tsunoda secured a P16 finish on a regular race weekend, his Sunday race would’ve been a closed case already. But this time around, F1 is hosting its first-ever sprint qualifying, which gives the AlphaTauri driver another chance to save his race.

Can the Japanese driver qualify in the top 10 at the inaugural F1 sprint race at the British Grand Prix? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Pingaksh Sharma

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Pingaksh Sharma is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been following this sport since India hosted the Grand Prix in 2012 and has been an ardent supporter of the eventual race winner, Sebastian Vettel. He is also a fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull and hopes the former breaks the Lewis Hamilton dominance.