AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda admitted he felt “a bit emotional” when overtaking two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso on his debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Tsunoda made an aggressive manoeuver on Alonso down into Turn 1 on Lap 27 in Bahrain as he made his way back up through the field following a sluggish start.

The Japanese driver finished ninth come the chequered flag and pulled off a similarly daring move on Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll on the final lap.

Reflecting on his series of impressive overtakes, Tsunoda noted his move on Alonso and how he watched the Spaniard on TV when he was a child.

"It was a bit emotional when I passed Fernando," Tsunoda said. "Last time I saw him, 12 or 13 years ago, when I was seven or eight years old!

"So, into Turn 1, I just trusted Fernando's skills and just launched it - you know, like a rookie. I felt a bit sorry about it, but I just launched it from pretty far away, so there were a few emotional things. Of course it's not the same car but I was happy for that."

Tsunoda also revealed his father is a big fan of Alonso’s aggressive driving style and during the race in Bahrain, he picked up some driving tips from when running behind the Alpine driver.

"My father is quite a big Fernando fan, especially his driving style. My father likes his driving. The first time my dad saw Fernando was at Suzuka and he said his acceleration from the last corner is the best of any driver on the grid. So, of course, I also followed Fernando.

"I drove with him a couple of laps and I learned from him how he managed the tyres on the corners, how he was driving every corner. After I passed him, I tried to copy his driving and in a couple of corners were better from my car as well.  

"Hopefully I don’t have to drive against him the next time, I want to be further ahead to start. The cars are different, the things I learn from him will be big for the future."

 

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