Pierre Gasly feels Yuki Tsunoda did not expect to struggle as much as he did during his rookie season in Formula 1, but the depth of talent and ability in the sport would have made it hard for any driver coming in.
Tsunoda endured a tough baptism of fire in 2021, scoring only thirty-two points compared to the one hundred and ten of his Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team-mate Gasly, although he ended the season with his best finish with fourth in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Gasly believes Tsunoda did learn some things just be observing what he did behind the wheel and adapted his approach as a result, but going against the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen was always going to be tricky for the Japanese racer.
“It’s difficult because it takes so much energy focusing on your own thing,” Gasly is quoted as saying by GPFans. “I think listening from what Yuki says, he learned quite a lot from looking at the data, seeing the way I work with the team, and just seeing my approach.
“I think he probably didn’t expect to struggle that much, from what he says, coming into Formula 1. The level in F1 at the moment in the midfield, it’s really hard.
“A four-time World Champion driving for Aston Martin (Vettel) with a double World Champion driving for Alpine [Alonso], very strong line-up at Ferrari, very strong line-up at McLaren, even Kimi, a champion at Alfa Romeo.
“The level is really high and probably higher than even the last couple of years. For sure, as a rookie coming in was not easy.”