Red Bull blames AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda for spoiling their pursuit for pole position during the qualifying at the Mexico City GP.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said his drivers were “Tsunoda’d” during their final laps in Q3. At Turn 11, Tsunoda moved off the track to give Perez space to go ahead, but Perez also went off the same way as Tsunoda. As a result, the next car on the track, Max Verstappen, also backed off.
The AlphaTauri team boss Franz Tost, however, insisted that his driver had done nothing wrong. He said that Tsunoda moved out of the way as soon as he was warned that Perez was closing in.
This is from Yuki’s cockpit. The instant he learns the RB’s are coming, the guy even moves off the track to not hinder them. When RB drivers make a mistake though, Karen immediately starts blaming Tsunoda. That kind of toxic management is devastating for a young man. pic.twitter.com/0Lj2AxYEVr
— Harvey Specter (@Specter__Harvey) November 7, 2021
Tost explained, “We said to him on the radio that the Red Bulls are coming and he just go[es] off the track [so] that they could pass easily. And Perez followed him. It’s not Yuki’s fault.”
“He didn’t make a mistake. He did it deliberately. We said to him, the Red Bulls are coming, Perez is coming, and he deliberately went to the side not to disturb them or not to be in front of them,” he further stressed.
Moreover, Tost questioned why Perez went off the same corner as Tsunoda. “To be honest, I absolutely don’t understand why Perez went also off the track there,” he said.
“Yuki went to the side, as all the drivers do in qualifying to make [space] for the cars which are coming behind which on a qualifying lap. He was not on a qualifying lap. As easy as that. Therefore I don’t understand anything about this.”
Perez said he went off the same track because he lost downforce when he caught Tsunoda. “I got Yuki going through the high speed and once you have a lack of downforce here in the high speed, you’re off,” Perez explained.
AlphaTauri wants to stay ahead of McLaren
Yuki Tsunoda will start the race from the back of the grid due to a power unit penalty and Aston-Martin’s Lance Stroll, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.
Perez pointed out that he went to the qualifying, knowing he would start at the back of the grid. Perez questioned why Tsunoda was participating in Q3 under the circumstances. “I was annoyed,” he said. “It’s Q3, he shouldn’t be there. But it is what it is.”
However, Tost explained that the AlphaTauri team did gain from Tsunoda reaching Q3. He was ensuring that he out-qualified Lando Norris, who was also running in Q3 despite the same penalty.
“And we want to be in front of Norris right now.”