AlphaTauri missed a crucial opportunity to score points in Qatar, failing to extract the potential within the AT04. To make things worse, Alfa Romeo jumped into 8th place and extended the gap to the Faenza-based outfit.
Tsunoda and Lawson were knocking on the door of a top-10 finish in Suzuka, eventually narrowly missing out. Poor team strategy also contributed to Tsunoda’s lack of points in Zandvoort, whilst Lawson finished in P9 in Singapore.
The consistent theme across all of these weekends was the team’s relatively strong performance. This also seemed to be the case in Qatar, at least after Tsunoda’s impressive showing in qualifying.
However, the 57-lap race proved more difficult for the Italian outfit. A lack of speed and poor tyre management were detrimental to their chance of scoring points.
Speaking after the race, Yuki Tsunoda was transparent about his team’s struggles:
“It’s hard to say where we’re losing because, inside the car, it feels okay – the balance itself.
“But we’re just not fast enough. We have to see what we can improve and work on the future.
“We’re losing too much in the straights, but it’s hard to decrease the downforce because we’re already kind of on the edge with the grip level.
“It’s not an easy issue to improve.”
Teammate Liam Lawson gave similar feedback, ending an impressive first stint in F1 on a relatively uninspiring note.
The youngster will almost certainly return to the grid relatively soon, although this didn’t lessen his frustration in Losail:
“It’s something we have to look more into to figure out exactly what was going on, but it was stability issues, trying to manage the rear-end.”
Currently last in the constructors’ standings, there will be changes to ensure AlphaTauri’s lack of performance does not repeat in 2024.
However, a series of updates will still be introduced before the year ends to facilitate the team’s transition into Red Bull’s overall philosophy.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang