AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda says he did everything to hold up Lewis Hamilton in the opening stages of the Turkish Grand Prix in a bid to help Red Bull’s Max Verstappen up ahead.
The Japanese driver lined up on last Sunday’s grid P9, or two spots ahead of Hamilton, but the pair were locked in battle at the outset.
Despite Tsunoda’s strong defence, the Mercedes driver eventually passed the young charger on lap eight with a bold maneuver on the outside of Istanbul Park’s Turn 8.
The AlphaTauri driver later admitted that he had put in an extra effort to try and delay Hamilton’s progress while Verstappen pressed on up ahead.
But Tsunoda’s strong laps came to the detriment of his tyres.
- Read also: F1i’s Driver Ratings for the 2021 Turkish GP
“I want Max to win in the last year of Honda, and for Red Bull as well,” he said. “So I tried to hold Lewis up as much as possible, for I don’t know how many laps.
“I was trying to save more of my tyre. I tried to hold him behind for 20 laps. Eight laps is not enough.”
Tsunoda was hopeful of achieving a top-ten finish but said that the poor visibility in the damp conditions led to him believing that a car was closer than it was, which encouraged him to push, which in turn led to a spin that thwarted his top-ten ambitions.
“I couldn’t see anything because of dirt and dust,” Tsunoda said. “I just couldn’t see, I thought there was a car right behind me so I just have to push, and I spun.
“The spin ruined my whole race so it’s a shame. We [would have been] able to score points so, yeah, just a shame.”
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Source: Formula 1 – F1I