Tsunoda Tried Copying F1 Idol Fernando Alonso’s Driving Style Mid Race

Published 04/08/2021, 6:42 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 25, 2021 AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda arrives at the circuit ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed


It was a dream debut outing for the rookie Japanese driver, Yuki Tsunoda, in Formula 1. Starting the race from P13 on the grid, Tsunoda fought his way through a handful of rivals, including his idol, Fernando Alonso to finish his race in P9.

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Unexpectedly, it was a rather quiet start for the AlphaTauri driver, who looked much slower than what the car had to offer. However, as laps went by, Tsunoda’s pace steadily increased, as he ultimately joined the battle for the top 10 alongside Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo.

This left people wondering, where did Tsunoda find such an astonishing pace out all of a sudden? Well, the Japanese driver has finally revealed the truth.

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I had Fernando Alonso as my target: Yuki Tsunoda

As reported by Marca, Tsunoda revealed that Alonso played a crucial role in improvising his pace during the Bahrain GP race.

Apparently, the 20-year-old was tagging along with the Spaniard for a couple of laps and imitated his driving style. And the end result turned out to be immensely positive, as he managed to leap past Alonso himself with ease.

I had Fernando as my target, of course. And I drove with him a couple of laps and learned from him how he manages the tires and how he drives in each corner. After overtaking him, I tried to copy how he was driving and in a couple of corners my car was better,” he said.

Tsunoda’s love for Fernando Alonso was ignited by his father, who is a “die-hard” fan of the two-time world champion. This probably would have left the Japanese driver aching to learn more from Alonso, as he added that his father recognizes the Spaniard as the “best driver on the grid“.

Hope I don’t drive close to him next time: Tsunoda

Tsunoda revealed that he isn’t keen on battling the Alpine next time around, as AlphaTauri possesses enough pace to race alongside the much bigger guns like Ferrari and McLaren.

I hope I don’t have to drive close to him next time because I want to start later, although the situation with Fernando’s car is different,” he said. “The things I learned from him are important for the future.”

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Formula One F1 – Bahrain Grand Prix – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda arrives at the circuit ahead of the Grand Prix REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

AlphaTauri were looking like the fastest car amongst the mid-field pack over the qualifying session in Bahrain last weekend. However, neither of the drivers were able to convert such positive signs into strong results.

While Pierre Gasly‘s race was pretty much compromised on lap 4, with floor damages, Tsunoda was still getting a hang around the fairly new racing car. Hence, will AlphaTauri manage to shine over the upcoming race weekend in Imola?

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DIVE DEEPER

Bahrain GP: Yuki Tsunoda Reveals ‘Emotional’ Significance of Passing Alonso

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Rohit Kumar

590 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.

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