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Tsunoda says he feels ‘more in control and relaxed’ in second F1 season following AlphaTauri contract extension

Yuki Tsunoda believes he is better prepared physically and mentally into his second season in Formula 1, saying he feels “more in control and more relaxed” heading into race weekends compared to his rookie campaign in 2021.

Fresh off announcing that he would be riding for AlphaTauri in 2023, Tsunoda spoke on the Italian team’s podcast – Tauri Talk — in which he opened up about where he thinks he’s improved the most since his first season with the team.

“Well, if I show you my belly or stomach, I think it will be easy to tell the difference!” Tsunoda joked. “The most different was physically, I would say, but in riding that’s only a little bit. But around the riding, it’s how I go about things, the mentality side, I’ve definitely raised those parts. More in control, more relaxed in a racing week.

READ MORE: Yuki Tsunoda to stay with AlphaTauri . in 2023

“I know how to handle most situations because I experienced more of it last year. And those parts, I definitely have a little bit more advantage over last year heading into race week. So I think those parts I feel are the difference.”

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Speaking of his oft-cited disdain for the gym, Tsunoda continued: “The preparation I did [for 2022] was much more than last year, and I have definitely felt the benefits and improved performance. Still, I hate it, but at the same time I know I can put in a good performance in the race, so I’ll just keep going.”

ANALYSIS: Why AlphaTauri kept Tsunoda for 2023

Asked if the lack of clarity about his future in recent weeks had affected him, Tsunoda said: “In the race, as soon as I wear a helmet or go into the monocoque or the chassis, I forget those things. But outside of racing for sure, especially the last three, four laps, it’s a little disturbing.

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“But it is what it is, and I’m very confident compared to last year, so I think I’ll stick with my performance. I focused on helping the team. The target is still the same for the rest of the season, so looking ahead, definitely feeling better after that contract announcement.”

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