Yuki Tsunoda makes admission about Lewis Hamilton attacking Fernando Alonso

Yuki Tsunoda claimed his first points of the season at last weekend's Australian Grand Prix.

Yuki Tsunoda has revealed to having “learned a huge amount” about defending from double World Champion Fernando Alonso, with the Japanese driver having watched clips of the Spaniard.

Tsunoda has enjoyed a strong start to his third season in Formula 1, with the 22-year-old having started the 2023 F1 season with consecutive 11th-place finishes and a 10th-place finish last weekend at the Australian Grand Prix.

He’s certainly entered this season with a new sense of maturity, with Tsunoda seemingly knowing that if he doesn’t perform well this season then he’ll likely find himself without a seat in 2024.

Tsunoda is only contracted until the end of this season; however, AlphaTauri team principal Franz Tost has already revealed his hope that the Japanese driver is offered a new deal for next year.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Tost actually believes Tsunoda is almost ready to be promoted to sister team Red Bull, with 2025 perhaps being a possibility given that Sergio Perez’s contract expires in 2024.

Tsunoda has already shown improvement on and off the circuit this season, with the young driver having calmed down compared to recent years.

On the circuit in particular, his driving is significantly better and more consistent, with one of Tsunoda’s issues having been making unnecessary errors.

He is certainly looking like a more complete package in 2023, something Tsunoda perhaps has Alonso to thank for.

Article continues below

Tsunoda has been watching videos of Alonso defending from Lewis Hamilton at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, where Hamilton was fighting through the field in his significantly quicker Mercedes.

Alonso’s unbelievable defence ultimately allowed former team-mate Esteban Ocon to claim a maiden win, something which was certainly a team effort.

READ: Toto Wolff addresses George Russell’s ‘proper’ engine failure

Given that AlphaTauri don’t have a strong package this season, watching videos of drivers defending in slower cars against faster cars is hugely beneficial to Tsunoda, with it clearly already having an impact on his driving.

Should he continue his impressive start to the season, then Red Bull might start to watch Tsunoda very closely.

“I’ve been looking at videos… I was just watching the way Alonso was doing that [defending against Hamilton in Hungary], and I learned a huge amount,” Tsunoda told the F1 Nation podcast.