Dutch GP: Qualifying team notes - AlphaTauri


Yuki Tsunoda: "Today's track conditions were tricky and considering that Liam only had FP3 to drive the car, he definitely did a good job on his first day.

"As for me, qualifying was frustrating because we couldn't put it all together. The team did a good job of getting me to Q2, but there's definitely room for improvement from me, especially with my radio communication to keep updating them about track conditions. I think the car had the pace to get to Q3, so I feel I didn't maximise my performance, which is the thing that's the most frustrating, because you always want to feel like you gave it your all. The track conditions were really difficult, and I had traffic in multiple places, but it was the same for everyone on track. It is what it is and it's learning for the future. It'll be difficult to overtake tomorrow but the conditions are different again, and we'll do what we can, obviously aiming for the points."

Liam Lawson: "Firstly, I feel for Daniel in this situation, and it's not something you want to see, especially to someone as nice as him, and I hope he recovers quickly. Any chance you get to race in Formula 1, you will grab with both hands, so I'm very excited about the opportunity I have been given. There are lots of emotions because it's something I've wanted to do since I was three years old.

"Today has been very hectic, with very tricky conditions. It was my first time driving on the intermediate tyres during the first session, and it was different to what I expected, but I felt like I was getting somewhere and learning how the tyres behaved. During qualifying, I was feeling comfortable and like I was gaining a lot, but then it rained again, and I expected the grip to drop, but I was surprised by how high it stayed, so for sure, I didn't maximise everything. I feel comfortable in the car, but with these conditions, it's tricky to learn this track in the car.

"Physically, I feel ok now, but with wet track conditions, it's not as physically demanding as the dry, so I expect it to be more tough during the race. This track is definitely a tricky one, bumpy in some places and takes confidence, which is difficult for me to pick up so quickly. If it's dry tomorrow, I'm going to be learning many new things because I haven't driven the car in fully dry conditions yet and haven't done any long runs on dry compound tyres. I'll just learn as much as possible and hang on."

Guillaume Dezoteux (Head of Vehicle Performance): "We had an intense journey since yesterday's crash, but the mechanics did a fantastic job to prepare the car for Liam. The conditions were difficult in the third Free Practice, but Liam did a good job at keeping the car on track and ramping up his pace step by step. The conditions were particularly tricky for him on intermediate tyres as it was the first time he'd driven on them.

"The qualifying session has been again wet, which looks like a steady feature of the 2023 season. As for Liam, it was about doing as many laps as possible to keep learning about the car and adapting to the conditions. He did a good job, making no mistakes and bringing the car home. There is definitely still a lot to come from him, and we are looking forward to the race, to hopefully give him useful dry running in the AT04. In regard to Yuki, qualifying started well, making Q2 with some margin. The track kept improving, but unfortunately, he couldn't make it to Q3 on his last attempt. Traffic was difficult, so we'll analyse the data tonight, to see if we could have done something different about tyre preparation. We'll also perform the strategy simulations to understand the most likely scenario for tomorrow. The car wasn't bad in the long run we did in FP2, and we hope we'll find ourselves in the position to fight for points with Yuki."

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Published: 26/08/2023
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