breaking news


today is Jun 06, 2023

The vibes were pretty good coming out of the AlphaTauri camp after Friday’s qualifying with Yuki Tsunoda making Q3 for the first time this season. But sadly, their luck has gone south since then, with a Red Flag cancelling a lap that would have gotten him through in Sprint Qualifying 2, and then an unfortunate clash during said Sprint led to his team taking a pricey fine…

Yuki was caught on the outside of a teammate clash on the opening lap of the Sprint, with Nyck De Vries pinning Yuki to the outside wall, seemingly breaking a front wing. Tsunoda then slapped the wall later into the lap and his rear tyre fell off his car, causing a Virtual Safety Car as the marshals had to remove a stranded Pirelli from the middle of the track.

— Cllr Sam S Collins (@NorthHertsSam) April 29, 2023

Yuki was able to limp back to the pits, where his team put a new tyre on the car to attempt to get Yuki back out there. Which they did… only for the car’s suspension to immediately fail, causing the car to “crab”, moving sideways and making it undrivable.

AlphaTauri were held responsible for releasing Yuki’s car in an unsafe condition and were fined 5,000 Euros for the trouble, with the stewards saying: “We considered that the team could have done more to check if the car was safe before releasing it.”

Now if this sounds familiar to you, it is a very similar scenario to what happened to Yuki last year in Zandvoort, when a hydraulics failure crippled his car, with the driver himself wanting to stop, to the point where his harnesses were loosened, only for AlphaTauri to tell him to continue back to the pits… only for the car to be parked on release anyway.

This caused a Safety Car and for F1 Twitter to have a meltdown, to the point where Yuki responded to accusations of race-fixing with:  “It’s funny how fans always make up a conspiracy theory. I’d really like to get an MRI of them and see how their brains are formed, what it looks like.” – A modern classic. 

Remarkably, it looks like today Tsunoda was again very much unconvinced about going back out on track. He told the team “I don’t think so” when informed of the plan to send him back out again, instructing it to check for damage. The stewards’ verdict says AlphaTauri did do that – just not thoroughly enough.

It’s getting a tad silly now. 

Should a harsher punishment have been given for Tsunoda’s release being deemed unsafe?