The trait that has helped Tsunoda shine in F1 to this point
Honda-backed Tsunoda ended the seven-year predict a elephantine-time Japanese righteous prix driver by securing a seat at AlphaTauri alongside Pierre Gasly for 2021, incomes plaudits for his performances in pre-season attempting out and the season-opening Bahrain Enormous Prix.
The 20-year-ancient achieved ninth in Bahrain to turned into the primary Japanese driver ever to originate capabilities on his debut.
Ex-Honda junior Matsushita, who raced in opposition to Tsunoda in F2 closing 12 months as a result of the latter fought for the title at Carlin, tipped his compatriot to comprise an “certified” debut season, highlighting the secure stage that allowed him to reach the feeder sequence the place he failed.
“I beget Tsunoda’s appropriate stage is he doesn’t care,” Matsushita informed Autosport. “If he makes a mistake, he factual strikes onto the subsequent one. Right here is de facto essential.
“Each time you invent a mistake, most other people assume, ‘subsequent time, I can’t invent a mistake’. However he factual says, ‘I made a mistake, I spotted’ and strikes on. That’s his mountainous vitality.
“AlphaTauri in all equity aggressive, with out clarify appropriate sufficient for the tip 10, so I beget he’s going to comprise an certified season. And I perceive how fleet Gasly is, I raced with him [in 2015 and 2016] in GP2. Let’s examine what Tsunoda can accomplish in opposition to him. I’m actually furious to appear.”
Matsushita additionally remarked how hasty Tsunoda improved since his first season in Europe in 2019, when he undertook twin campaigns in FIA F3 and Euroformula Initiating.
Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02
Guidelines by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Footage
“In 2019 he become as quickly as doing F3 and that become as quickly as the primary time I met him,” mentioned Matsushita. “We did a lag collectively in Euroformula Initiating [at the Hungaroring]. That point he become as quickly as not that aggressive, did fairly a runt little little bit of errors.
“However I beget closing 12 months working with Carlin he improved somewhat rather a lot and he grew to turned into worthy calmer.
“In qualifying there’s undoubtedly he’s additionally fleet. Inside the races he become as quickly as typically manufacture of conservative within the beginning, after which pushing on the tip as a result of he silent has the tyre.
“In F1 you must silent be aggressive immediately from the beginning up. That’s the thing he needs to extend. However I beget he can accomplish it.”
Matsushita contrasted Tsunoda’s lickety-split rise alongside together with his occupy stint in GP2 and F2, which spanned 5 seasons between 2015 and 2020 and resulted in seven wins and a handiest championship accomplish of sixth – which received right here in 2019 with Carlin.
The 27-year-ancient added he become as quickly as relishing the additional relaxed setting of SUPER GT after signing as a producing facility Nissan driver over the iciness.
“I become as quickly as searching to reach F1, and it become as quickly as factual in entrance of me, particularly in 2019 as a result of I become as quickly as silent supported by Honda and I knew if I did an accurate job then I may effectively effectively even comprise obtained the seat,” he mentioned.
“The stress become as quickly as so excessive, nevertheless I become as quickly as creating additional stress for myself. I become as quickly as pondering, ‘I comprise to put that, I comprise to hold out that.’ It makes you manufacture of stiff. Ultimate 12 months, I knew it become as quickly as my closing probability, so I needed to set utterly the whole lot on the road. And it become as quickly as not appropriate.
“I’m worthy additional relaxed right here [in SUPER GT] when put subsequent with after I become as quickly as in Europe. Now I don’t comprise to show one thing. I am factual taking part in myself.”