Pierre Gasly warns AlphaTauri that Yuki Tsunoda needs ‘more self-control’

Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda have been joined at the hip ever since the Japanese racer joined AlphaTauri last year.

Yuki Tsunoda initially struggled in Formula 1 after signing for AlphaTauri at the beginning of 2021.

The Japanese driver was seen by fans to have an uncontrollable temper and when combined with his tendency to crash his car, it looked like Tsunoda would not last long in the sport.

It has been suggested that the 22-year-old simply needed time to adapt to life in Formula 1, especially having moved from Japan with his family to living in Milton Keynes by himself.

Tsunoda has improved tenfold since his rocky start with AlphaTauri, and has formed a strong bond with the Alpine-bound Pierre Gasly, similar to how Carlos Sainz took Lando Norris under his wing during their time together at McLaren.

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The Japanese driver will be partnered with F1 rookie Nyck de Vries next season, as Gasly searches for a fresh start with Alpine, and the Frenchman believes that Tsunoda knows what he has to work on if he wants to become an established team leader at AlphaTauri.

“I think only time will tell but for sure he has improved massively,” said Gasly when asked if Tsunoda can step up to lead the team next year.

“I would not be surprised to see him improving again next season.

“I think he knows what he needs to work on; a bit of self-control. But he knows that, and he has got good people around him and this environment is also good for him to really develop as a better driver,” he explained.

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While the much loved bromance will be splitting up over the winter break, Gasly has spoken very highly of his friend and now former teammate, suggesting that his bluntness and temper can actually be his greatest strength if harnessed properly.

“There is not bullsh*t with Yuki and that is one thing I will really appreciate. Everything which goes through his mind is out of his mouth in a flash of light,” he said.

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“He’s a very unique character, got a great sense of humour, no filter, which can be quite surprising at times, but he is a great human being. Really enjoyed these last two years seeing him evolve with the team.

“Also as a person I think he has developed quite a lot – definitely someone I appreciate, and I’ll happily call as a friend now.” 

It could be a tough dynamic for AlphaTauri to manage next season, with Tsunoda having two years of F1 racing under his belt but being four years younger than his rookie teammate De Vries, who will be joining after learning from the Mercedes program.