Yuki Tsunoda has again remarked that the Formula 1 stewards “love the top teams” following his clash with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in Sunday’s Mexico City Grand Prix.

Having earned five points the previous weekend in the United States, Tsunoda’s Mexico weekend was compromised from the outset by the news that he would be placed at the back of the grid for exceeding his maximum allocation of power unit elements.

But Tsunoda moved up three places to 17th due to other grid penalties before making a storming start to gain another trio of positions on the opening lap of the race.

After making the earliest pitstop of any driver at the end of Lap 11, Tsunoda displaced both Aston Martin drivers to rise to eighth by the time the race was stopped on Lap 35.

While he admits the red flag, caused by Kevin Magnussen’s crash at Turn 9, benefitted him, Tsunoda asserts his progress was a testament to the pace of AlphaTauri’s car.

“Yes, but also the Hard stint that I had was also pretty good, without that I wouldn’t be P8,” he contended. “Car was good, just shows [that the] car was good.”

The Japanese racer maintained eighth on the standing restart and then began to court Piastri ahead when the pair encountered a minor touch on the exit of Turn 2.

However, on the next lap, Tsunoda’s attempted move around the outside into Turn 1 witnessed the two make contact, with the AlphaTauri spinning out of the top 10.

The stewards deemed that neither driver was “wholly or predominantly to blame” for the incident, electing to take no further action.

Asked to give his take on the incident, Tsunoda said: “I think I already commented enough when I was driving so. They love top teams so that’s it….”

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) AlphaTauri AT04. 29.10.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico, Race Day.

Tsunoda concedes that he was desperate to overtake Piastri because running directly in the turbulent air of the McLaren was hurting his tyres and overheating his brakes.

Pressed on whether he could have been more patient: Tsunoda answered: “Well, also, the tyres started to deg behind the other cars, it’s so hard to follow the cars with that car.

“I felt [the] tyres start to struggle, I wanted to kind of overtake as soon as possible, but also with brakes, we had so much limited with braking.”

AlphaTauri team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, meanwhile, enjoyed a stellar weekend outing, converting fourth place on the grid into a six-point haul with a seventh-place finish.

“The car pace was good as we expected,” Tsunoda added. “We showed a good performance yesterday, such a shame that it ended up like that.”

Ricciardo’s exploits ensured AlphaTauri moved away from the foot of the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of both Alfa Romeo and Haas into eighth.

Tsunoda expects the Faenza squad’s AT04 to not be as competitive in Brazil as it was at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, but he is optimistic about competing for points.

“I think here was more our characteristic, we knew the car suited here well,” he addressed.

“Brazil could have potential, lot of slow speed corners, maybe a chance as well. But I don’t expect as strong as here, I hope we’ll be good still. At least enough pace to fight for P10, P9.”

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