Tsunoda “has to score many more points than he did last year”

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost says he expects driver Yuki Tsunoda to score “many more points” this season than he did in 2022.

Tsunoda is entering into his third year in Formula 1 with AlphaTauri. He was heavily out-scored by his more experienced team mate Pierre Gasly in his rookie season in 2021 but matched Gasly more regularly in his second year. However, Tsunoda continued to make some major errors in 2022, including crashing out of the Canadian Grand Prix exiting the pit lane and then hitting Gasly as the pair battled for points at the British Grand Prix.

AlphaTauri struggled for performance in 2022 compared to the year before, falling from sixth to ninth in the constructors’ championship. Tost says AlphaTauri’s new AT04 will prove more formidable than its predecessor and expects Tsunoda to improve his performances in his third season.

“Last year, Yuki struggled with the car,” Tost said. “This year, as I expect we will have quite a competitive car, Yuki must always aim to be in Q3 and finish the races in the points.

“He is a very highly- skilled driver and now has a lot of experience with two seasons in Formula 1. For this reason, of course, he has to score many more points than he did last year.”

After AlphaTauri fell back into the midst of the midfield battle in 2022, Tost expects that the grid will be more competitive throughout the order in 2023.

“I think that the whole field will be much closer together,” he said. “Of course, the three big teams still have an advantage from their infrastructure, from the personnel side, but I’m quite convinced that in 2023 the cars will be much more evenly matched.

“In addition, while [Max] Verstappen won the championship quite early on in the season last year, I don’t expect that one driver will have such a big advantage this year and win so early. I think it will become a fight that goes on until the end of the season. That’s what the fans, spectators, and we all want to see.”

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