Tsunoda starred in tricky conditions at Imola as he out-qualified and out-raced highly-rated teammate Pierre Gasly en route to finishing seventh.

His race included late overtakes on Kevin Magnussen and Sebastian Vettel as his points haul helped AlphaTauri move ahead of Haas in the constructors’ championship.

Speaking in the latest episode of Crash.net’s F1 podcast, Brundle was impressed by Tsunoda’s rate of improvement since last year.

“He’s worked on it, hasn’t he? He’s still full beans in the cockpit,” Brundle said. “The radio message when he made the pass late in the race: ‘Let’s go!’ - it’s something I absolutely love about him and I want to see him succeed.

“I find myself watching him really wanting to see him succeed because he’s a human in the car, you can tell that as opposed to some other drivers that just come across and it’s no detriment to the character, in fact, it’s probably beneficial in the circumstances that they come across as a machine. Yuki definitely doesn’t, it’s something I really like about him. The incidents are fading out aren’t they and they are believing in him and the performances are coming back in.”

Brundle is hopeful that Helmut Marko sticks with Tsunoda and continues to “nuture” the young Japanese driver as the Red Bull driver programme has been historically ruthless.

“It really does show, there were stages through the middle of last year when he’d have an accident, Gasly performing at the front of the field, podiums, delivery and Yuki was nowhere to be seen in having incidents,” Brundle added.

“People questioned he should still be there and they really believed in him, they kept him through this year and I really hope he can deliver on that because I’d like to see the programme move in that direction of nurturing rather than just ‘throw him in, no!’, ‘throw him in, no!’”

Legendary F1 commentator Ben Edwards pointed out Tsunoda’s impressive racecraft at Imola.

“I am impressed with some of the stuff that he’s done this year,” Edwards said. “Last year, we know he started strongly and then went through a bit of a dip. There were a few mistakes, there was that crash at Imola qualifying last year.

“This time, he’s putting it together well and when I’ve watched him racing as well, there’s good racecraft there. He knows when there are cars around him. There was a part of the race yesterday… he was trying to get alongside him and he was very aware, his race awareness was very good.”

Norris shines as Ricciardo struggles

Lando Norris was once again the lead McLaren driver during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend, scoring the team’s first podium of the year.

The Woking-outfit seems to have turned a corner since its torrid season-opener in Bahrain where it was battling at the back of the field with Williams and Aston Martin.

As Norris finished third, Daniel Ricciardo finished last after tangling with Carlos Sainz on the opening lap of the race.

Edwards conceded that it’s difficult to judge where McLaren is in the pecking order given its “unpredictable” form.

“We didn’t actually get a really clear picture of Daniel because of what happened right on that opening lap,” Edwards explained. “It was a difficult one to read, whether Daniel would have had a good race. It was a tiny error on his behalf. It was nice to see him go over to the Ferrari hospitality suite and apologise to Carlos - that was a nice thing to see.

“As a team, they’re incredibly unpredictable at the moment. Lando is doing a brilliant job. He really is at a top, top level at the moment. He and George Russell, great rivals growing up of course. They are both delivering fantastically well for their respective teams but I do think McLaren is still a bit unpredictable in terms of are we going to see them ‘best of the rest’ behind that group is Ferrari, Red Bull very much at the top, Mercedes maybe there but at the moment, maybe not.

“Is McLaren the best team there? I am not sure we are going to see that every time because sometimes the Alpine is really strong and sometimes we are seeing Alfa Romeo strong for example. I think McLaren have got a good car but I think it might be on a narrow line, making it work and at particular circuits. We will have to see if they get that better as they develop it.”

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