breaking news

BREAKING NEWS

today is Feb 04, 2023

Yuki Tsunoda believes physical and mental improvements were central to him improving as a driver throughout the 2022 season, with the Japanese youngster taking a more “relaxed” mindset into each race weekend.

Tsunoda experienced a mixed first campaign with AlphaTauri in 2021 as his flashes of pace were accompanied by mistakes, radio outbursts and fitness struggles – leading to changes around his routine on and off the track.

After a noticeably calmer second term in the sport, Tsunoda’s outgoing team mate, Pierre Gasly, declared that the 22-year-old “improved massively”, tipping him to make further progress in 2023 as “he knows what he needs to work on”.

READ MORE: Gasly says he’ll miss ‘outspoken, no bull****’ Tsunoda as he departs for Alpine

And asked what areas he feels he progressed in during his sophomore F1 season, Tsunoda reflected: “For me, I think I would say in general: the physical side, mentality side and driving side.

“Overall, I’m pretty happy. I’ll say… now I’m feeling relaxed in the race week, especially Thursday, Friday, which I didn’t know how to approach and I was stressing consistently, especially last year, rushing everything.

“That makes it a little bit kind of [stressful and] frustrating, and made it a little bit difficult by myself, but now I can kind of be relaxing and I know how to adapt to any situation.

“[I’m] feeling confident, good confidence, and anything that happens, like the things I didn’t expect still, I know how to handle it, so I think overall, this year, I’m pretty happy about the how I progressed, every race. Hopefully I can continue, or even more, this momentum.”

With drivers heading into the winter break to regroup, Tsunoda explained that he is planning to follow a similar approach to the 2021-22 off-season by spending most of his time in Europe – making a joke about his love for the cuisine in Japan.

READ MORE: ‘It’s been a hard year, but I’ve learned a lot’ – Tsunoda insists he and AlphaTauri will ‘be back strong’ in 2023

“Currently, I’m planning for a little bit more in Europe. I’ll go back to Japan, but I think it’ll be as short as it was probably last year,” said Tsunoda, who scored 12 points across the 2022 season, while Alpine-bound Gasly bagged 23.

“Then [I’ll] come back to Europe and train as [I did] last year, or this year’s beginning of the season. I’m not planning on spending too long [in Japan], or else I am going to be really fat!”