Japanese GP: Preview - AlphaTauri


Pierre Gasly: "We missed an opportunity to pick up good points, especially in terms of the Constructors' in Singapore and we have to take a close look at how we ran the weekend. Honestly, we did not look too competitive in the dry on Friday, but Qualifying was fun and set us up for a good opportunity in the race. It looked as though we were going to make the most of it as I was running in a good position ahead of the Aston Martins, but we pitted too early for slicks and there was no coming back from that. We need to do a better job as there is potential for some good results before the end of the year, starting right away in Japan, which I am so pleased to be visiting again after a two year break.

Suzuka is an incredible track, especially the first sector with all the quick corners and it's definitely one of my top three favourite tracks. And going there as a Honda driver, it's always a special feeling to be able to race in Japan in front of our fans. I was with Honda at the start of their latest period in F1, and even before then as I was racing with them for my season in Super Formula. I get a lot of motivating support from Japan and it was a real shame we were not able to race there for the past couple of years, especially as I love the culture, I love Tokyo and the food too, even if Yuki is the expert on that topic! So I am very happy that we are going to race there again. Last time we were there, back in 2019, I had a good weekend; qualifying ninth and finishing seventh, so let's see what we can do this time."

Yuki Tsunoda: "My first visit to Singapore did not go the way I had hoped. We had not looked great on Friday but recovered enough to get to Q3 which I was pleased about. In the race, the conditions were very tricky and I think we switched to the slick tyres a bit too early. But having said that, it was my mistake; I misjudged my braking point and crashed. Now, I'm going to put that behind me and focus on this coming weekend for my very first home race in Formula 1.

In one way, Japan is just another race, but in another it is one I have been looking forward to ever since I started in Formula 1. I used to drive at Suzuka quite a lot in Formula 4, so I have some experience of it, but when I recently drove the track in the simulator, in a Formula 1 car, it's a very different world. Actually, because you have so much more downforce, I think you are on the throttle for more of the lap in a Formula 1 car than in Formula 4. The view of the track changes completely and it's like a whole new track. My experience there from the past will still be useful and I remember how to drive Suzuka. I am looking forward to racing there in front of my home fans very much.

I know there will be a lot of interest from the fans for this race. I can't imagine what it will be like, so it will be very different to every other race weekend, but I am looking forward to enjoying a new experience. I am happy about the attention; I am the sort of person that does not feel much pressure from other people anyway. When I'm driving, I only pay attention to myself and all that support will give me extra energy on every lap in a positive way, and that will be helpful and nice. Many of my friends and family will be coming to Suzuka and I know that even those for whom I couldn't get passes, have bought tickets. And a very important final point, I get to eat Japanese food for a whole week!"

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Published: 05/10/2022
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