Tsunoda was broadcast cursing on his car radio after being eliminated from the opening segment of qualifying, saying “I cannot believe this car”. He will start Sunday’s race from 16th.
By contrast, teammate and Italian Grand Prix winner Gasly made it through to the second qualifying session and will line up 12th.
When asked what he thought was going wrong, Tsunoda said: “I don’t know. It’s always different feedback compared to my teammate.
“Even every time it’s opposite, so I have a little bit of a question mark if it’s the same car. Of course it’s the same car, but the character of the car is too different. Maybe of course it’s just the driving style, but I don’t know what’s happened and why I’m struggling this much.”
Tsunoda’s confusion centered around the out-lap from the pits back to the beginning of his timed lap. The way a driver manages his out-lap is crucial to getting the tyres up to the necessary temperature required to maximise a qualifying lap.
Tsunoda felt he did everything he needed to execute the lap he needed, so he was confused why his car was lacking the pace to make Q2.
“I wasn’t pushing too hard on the out-lap, [I was] just like do normal.
“The tyre temperature is quite spot-on before the lap. I think the team, we set up, we set up the tyre, but I don’t know. It’s not the place I want to fight.
“The performance in this car, it’s easy to go to Q2. I really struggled to even go to Q2.”
Tsunoda came into his first Formula One season with significant hype around his aggressive racing style and success in junior categories. He impressed in his debut, the Bahrain Grand Prix, but has struggled in the two races since.
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