The Demanding Expectations Set by AlphaTauri’s Boss for 2023
Yuki Tsunoda has received a rigorous objective for the 2023 season from his AlphaTauri team boss, who stated, “Achieve a higher point total than in the previous year.”
This demand from Franz Tost can be seen as both demanding and unreasonable, depending on one’s perspective.
In the 2022 season, Yuki Tsunoda performed well in comparison to Pierre Gasly. Neither driver was responsible for their low point total, and despite being less experienced, Tsunoda only trailed Gasly in points by a margin of 23 to 12.
Franz Tost’s statement, made at the unveiling of the AT04, fails to consider the circumstances of the 2022 season. Furthermore, it barely acknowledges a significant factor that will impact the upcoming season.
According to Tost, “Last year, Yuki had difficulties with the car.”
Tost adds, “This year, with the expectation of having a highly competitive car, Yuki must strive to qualify in the top 10 and finish races in the points.”
Tost further notes, “Yuki is a highly talented driver and now has ample experience, having competed in Formula 1 for two seasons.”
It is typical of Tost to be so straightforward in his expectations. The key factor in setting such a target is Tost’s expectation of the AT04’s performance, so the final line should be accompanied by “if the car performs significantly better.” At the same time, it is as simple as that. If Tost is correct and the AlphaTauri is closer to its 2020 or 2021 form, then Tsunoda must match that improvement. Tsunoda is aware of this and has set similar goals for himself.
“My primary objective is to perform more consistently in each race, regardless of the car’s performance, and to score points more consistently,” says Tsunoda. “I want to be more in control of myself at all times, work effectively with the team, and understand the car as quickly as possible, starting from the first race in Bahrain. I want this year to be my best performance in terms of making it to Q3 and scoring points, in the three years I have been in Formula 1.”
Tsunoda has the potential to achieve these goals. Last year was an improvement over his challenging rookie season, which Tsunoda attributes to taking his physical training more seriously, which will continue in 2023 with the help of former Daniel Ricciardo trainer Michael Italiano, and regaining confidence after the difficulties of 2021.
In 2022, he appeared and sounded more like a serious Formula 1 driver, and if he takes another step forward this year, both he and Tost have reason to believe that their shared goals can be achieved, if, of course, the car performs significantly better.
Tsunoda believes that he is at a completely different level now, while still retaining the positive aspects of his first year. “I am now definitely more in control, more involved with the team in the development of the car, and I also act differently, having learned a lot of things, not just in racing but also in my life away from the track,” he says. “Even that has a positive impact on my racing. I had underestimated the demands of Formula 1, but now I have figured out what is truly important.”
Tsunoda’s teammate, Nyck de Vries, may either add to or detract from AlphaTauri’s expectations for him. De Vries presents a different challenge for Tsunoda, as he is five years older and has more overall motorsport experience, but lacks Tsunoda’s level of Formula 1 knowledge.
On one hand, AlphaTauri may place even more responsibility on Tsunoda. On the other hand, Tost is confident in De Vries’ abilities and does not consider him a typical rookie.
“He has extensive racing experience, having won races and championships in many of the categories in which he has competed,” Tost states. “Therefore, I am confident that he will be able to deliver good results early in the season and consistently finish in the points in races.”
Tost is impressed with De Vries’ technical skills and focus. “Nyck is technically very skilled and focused. When he drove our car at the end of last season, he provided valuable technical feedback to the engineers. I think he will quickly understand the new car and get familiar with it, as his feedback will be useful due to his understanding of the technical challenges of Formula 1 cars,” says Tost. “I believe he is one of the most technically capable drivers in Formula 1.”
Most teams are secretive at this early stage of the pre-season, but AlphaTauri needs to bounce back from a disappointing 2022. Tost is not hiding his expectations for the new car and, by extension, his drivers.
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Breaking – AlphaTauri presents The new AT04 F1 2023
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