Formula 1 Racing

Tsunoda surprised to be eighth on grid

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In the round-up: Yuki Tsunoda says he did not expect to reach Q3 in Melbourne.

In brief

Tsunoda surprised by top eight

After Tsunoda reached Q3 in Albert Park and beat both Aston Martins to secure eighth on the grid for today’s Australian Grand Prix, the RB driver admits he exceeded his own expectations.

“I’m definitely happy,” Tsunoda told the official F1 channel after his best qualifying of the season so far.

“I didn’t expect to be honest to be P8 – even Q3 as well after Q1, when I saw Williams and a couple of teams also picked up quite a lot of pace. I was also able to gain a lot of lap time in a couple of places, corners that was able to put me into Q3. So I was really happy.

“Definitely big credit to the team that was able to get me a very consistent car throughout the weekend. From FP1 I felt quite comfortable.”

Sainz and Gasly reprimanded

Australian Grand Prix front row starter Carlos Sainz Jnr recieved a reprimand from the event stewards after a practice start infringement.

The Ferrari failed to adhere to race director Niels Wittich’s event note directions about practice starts on the grid at the end of a session – that are the same every race weekend – which outline that drivers must take the chequered flag first before attempting one. Sainz was ahead of Lando Norris on track when Norris was the first driver to take the flag at the end of third practice, but still stopped on the grid with the McLaren, committing a breach. Sainz was reprimanded by the stewards, his first of the season.

Alpine driver Pierre Gasly also received a reprimand after he crossed the white line at the exit of the pit lane when joining the track during Q1.

Spectator injured by Alonso’s gravel

After Fernando Alonso ran off the track at turn ten during practice, gravel kicked up by the Aston Martin allegedly injured a spectator.

Australian Jelena Dokic – a former grand slam tennis player herself – claims to have been struck in the eye by some gravel flicked into the grandstands when Alonso bounced through the gravel trap. Posting on social media, Dokic says she was hit in the right eye, requiring medical treatment at the circuit.

Thankfully, the injuries proved to be minor and Dokic plans to attend today’s grand prix.

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