Tsunoda relieved to lose F1 reprimands at Monza, penalties pile up

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Tsunoda was given a 10-place grid penalty for Monza after he received his fifth reprimand of the season for driving back to the pits with seat belts unfastened at the Dutch GP.

He had previously been reprimanded for driving unnecessarily slowly in Australia, followed by three others for obstructing offenses in Australia, Bahrain and Monaco.

Knowing that he would come to Monza with a grid penalty, AlphaTauri gave Tsunoda a new powerplant, guaranteeing that he would start at the back of the grid.

After combining the power unit reprimands and penalties into one goal, Tsunoda made his life harder by speeding under yellow in practice.

That earned him a three-place grid penalty, which was basically pointless, but more importantly, two penalty points, putting him at eight for the season. Just four more will lead to a one-race ban.

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“At least I don’t have to think about any reprimands that were already behind my ass,” he said when asked by TBEN/Motorsport.com about the penalty situation.

“At least it’s clear now. I can fight very hard from now on. Well, I still have eight penalty points.

“Of course I make sure I don’t do stupid moves as much as possible. But the point is I try to overtake and crash, or whatever that is, it’s good to learn.

“But a few times I’ve done unnecessary things, like yellow flags for example, the penalty points, I absolutely have to stop that.”

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Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT03

Photo By: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost called Tsunoda’s Monza yellow flag penalty “not smart” and said he needs to be “more disciplined”. Tsunoda admitted it was a stupid mistake.

“There was a bit of a misunderstanding to be honest between my mechanic and me. I got a radio call that I misunderstood myself. Normally, of course, I lower the speed myself, and I’ve never been fined for yellow flags, and there was a bit of misunderstanding with the radio, hence I didn’t really slow down.

“Yet it is my responsibility, I still have to reduce it, especially the yellow flag for safety. It was a good lesson for next time.”

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Tsunoda finished Q1 in Monza in a solid eighth place, but as he was destined for 20th, the team chose not to drive him for the rest of the session.

“I was preparing more for the race than for the qualifying performance. So we decided not to drive in Q2, which was already planned for FP2. That’s okay, and I went to Q2 anyway. So it’s positive. Let’s we’ll see how it goes tomorrow, and hopefully this preparation of what I did in FP1 will work.”

“Hopefully the pace will be good, at Monza it will be possible to overtake. It will be difficult, but it’s not like it’s not possible.”