“Would Have Been a Big Shunt”: Tsunoda Denies Bottas’ Blocking Claim, Instead Blames Him

Published 06/26/2021, 11:03 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


Valtteri Bottas may have secured provisional P2 in the qualifying session at the Red Bull Ring. However, it wasn’t before the Finn blasted off Yuki Tsunoda on the team radio after the latter impeded the former’s lap around turn 4. What’s more, the stewards consequently took note of the incident and an investigation was underway.

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While the entire F1 community is predicting a grid penalty for the Japanese driver, Tsunoda, claimed that he was not to blame for the incident. Instead, he reckoned he made the right choice of running straight around turn 4, rather than turning 1, which could have caused a shunt.

What did Yuki Tsunoda say?

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The AlphaTauri driver looked at the incident on the screen during the post-qualifying interview and laid out his personal verdict.

Well, there’s still a gap between me and Valtteri. And the point I saw him was already on the braking zone. So, yeah, it’s both mistakes. But, to be honest, if I changed directions and go inside – I think I was already in the braking zone,” Tsunoda said.

So, I was expecting Valtteri was gonna try to overtake me from inside; so, it would have been a big shunt,” the AlphaTauri rookie added.

Bottas sounded quite annoyed on the team radio when the incident took place during Q3. The Mercedes driver said, “F**king Tsunoda. F**king idiot.”

There was nowhere to go: Tsunoda on the Valtteri Bottas incident

It was undeniably a tricky place to be while on a warm-up or a cool-down lap. And the fact that he never received any kind of warning from his team only made things worse. Hence, considering the situation, Tsunoda reckoned he did the best to avoid any kind of on-track pile-up with Bottas.

There wasn’t anywhere to go, so, I went straight. And looks like there’s still a gap. I don’t think I ruined his lap too much, but let’s see,” Tsunoda said.

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Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 26, 2021 Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after qualifying in second place REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

Regardless of whether he gets a penalty or not, Tsunoda did exceptionally well in the qualifying, as he will be starting the race from an impressive P8 on the grid. Meanwhile, his teammate, Pierre Gasly, will be starting just ahead of the rookie from P6.

Hence, will the conditions play out in the favor of AlphaTauri on Sunday? Will both the drivers manage to secure a double points finish at the Red Bull Ring? Only time will tell.

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Rohit Kumar

940 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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