(GMM) Yuki Tsunoda admits his big lesson from his debut season in Formula 1 last year was to stop being so “lazy”.
The Honda-backed Japanese, who has been retained by Red Bull for its junior team Alpha Tauri, even described himself as a “lazy bastard”.
Tsunoda, 21, says he got a false impression about the difficulty of Formula 1 after scoring points on debut in 2021.
“I thought I had it under control. I figured it would be easy,” he said.
However, he then started making mistakes and letting his frustration show, and admits his confidence took a major knock.
“I realized ‘Ok it is quite difficult – much more than I had thought. I had never experienced that before. Then I had to fight,” the Japanese added.
Red Bull’s driver supremo Dr Helmut Marko even stepped in, compelling Tsunoda to relocate to Italy to be close to Alpha Tauri team boss Franz Tost.
“Then there were seven races in a row in which I didn’t have an accident,” he explained. “But I had never had a season with so many ups and downs.
“Now that I have seen the good and the bad, I can move forward. I know the details where I need to improve to be consistently ahead of my teammate.
“The ingredients are there,” said Tsunoda, who for 2022 will again be paired with the on-form Frenchman Pierre Gasly.