The Japanese driver may well have been concerned about how his weekend was going to unfold after a tough qualifying session on Friday, which saw him and team-mate Pierre Gasly eliminated at the end of Q1.
However, that only served to drive Tsunoda on over the course of the weekend, with him working his way up to 12th at the end of Sprint on Saturday, and then into the points with a 7th place finish in the Grand Prix on Sunday.
It was a really great drive from the AlphaTauri man, and he couldn’t hide his delight post-race, with him also thanking his team for their efforts and for the supporters who had flocked to watch the Faenza-outfit just as much as those who had come to see Ferrari:
“I’m super happy we were able to score points, especially at [the team’s] home track with a lot of people watching from the factory,” Tsunoda said to Give Me Sport’s George Dagless among the media after the chequered flag at Imola.
“The amount of work they’ve done last year and this year has been so huge so to score points I’m super happy for this one.
“I was watching every lap, seeing AlphaTauri flags in the grandstands. That gives me extra energy every lap and I feel the support from them.”
Indeed, six points on the board for Tsunoda is a very handy return, but he admits he wasn’t thinking too far ahead at the start of the race, given the slippery conditions out on track:
“I didn’t try to expect [points] because of the difficult conditions and it’s hard to predict but I was just focusing on staying on the track first and trusting my car’s pace.”