“Funny” and “crazy” are two words that can be used very frequently in Formula 1, and those are the adjectives Yuki Tsunoda chose after learning of the conspiracy theories at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen was leading his home race from Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, while Charles Leclerc had made his second stop, so was fourth.
Both Verstappen and Leclerc were on the two-stop strategy, whereas Mercedes had put their drivers on the one-stop, so after the reigning champion’s second stop, he would end up behind Hamilton and Russell.
However, Tsunoda’s misbehaving AlphaTauri car threw a spanner in Mercedes’ and Leclerc’s works by developing an issue that the Japanese driver noticed after he had made a stop of his own.
He thought it might have been a loose wheel, but the team saw nothing on the data, so they advised him to slowly come back round to the pits.
Confident that there was nothing wrong, the 22-year-old was sent on his way again, but Tsunoda noticed that there was indeed still a problem, so he stopped by the side of the track.
This caused a Virtual Safety Car, enabling Verstappen to stop and re-join ahead of the Mercedes drivers, who themselves came in and got the jump on Leclerc.
The Red Bull driver would go on to win from Russell and Leclerc, while Hamilton finished fourth.
Because AlphaTauri are Red Bull’s junior team, fans on social media instantly floated the theory that the Austrian side had told the Faenza-based squad to cause a race altering caution period.
Strategist Hannah Schmitz was given horrific abuse as a result, and AlphaTauri took to social media to affirm that claims of foul play were “insulting” and “disrespectful.”
They also strongly condemned the hateful messages sent Schmitz’s way.
Tsunoda rubbished suggestions of a conspiracy, and explained in more detail what had ultimately cut his afternoon short.
“Well, it’s funny that fans are really excited to always create the story,” he told Motorsport.com.
“Straight away, I felt some strange things at the rear part, which I thought first was the tyre.
“I got radio from the team to stop the car in a safe place at the side of the track, so I just stopped, and I nearly switched off as well.
“But I got told again from the team that we didn’t find any issues, that’s why we restarted. We fitted a new tyre, but I felt clearly that there was an issue again.
“I said to the team that there’s definitely an issue, so that’s why they said to stop.
“It’s just a super simple fact that there was an issue in the car, and we confirmed there was a differential issue.
“Of course, the situation made it of course a little bit confused, but there’s not any room to complain to the team, myself and also especially to Red Bull that it’s such a, to be honest, crazy, crazy story.
“And I was also running in opportunity, a good place to score points, so yeah, there’s not any reason to just help them.”
The Sagamihara-born racer suggested that anyone who believes there was any collusion at play last weekend needs their head checked.
“I don’t want to know and I don’t care,” added Tsunoda.
“I want to actually ask how your brain looks like, scan the MRI and see what’s wrong, it’s funny how they create the story.
“Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri are completely different teams. Well, you know, it’s not as [completely different] as the other teams but still, it’s a different name.
“We’re in Italy, they’re in the UK. We perform in completely different fields.”
AlphaTauri, as well as Ferrari, are contesting their home race in Monza this weekend.