Motor Racing-Button warns Japanese rookie Tsunoda to watch his words
(Reuters) – Retired world champion Jenson Button warned Yuki Tsunoda to watch his words after the Japanese Formula 1 rookie publicly criticized his AlphaTauri car’s performance in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday .
The 20-year-old has already gained a reputation for swearing on team radio and, at the Circuit de Catalunya circuit in Barcelona, he questioned the setup of his car compared to that of teammate Pierre Gasly.
“I just feel on my side that the car is really slow,” he said.
“It’s always a different return compared to my teammate, every time it’s the opposite,” he said.
“I have a little question mark if it’s the same car … Of course it’s the same car but the character of the car is too different … I don’t understand what happened past, why I have such a hard time.
Gasly qualified 12th while Tsunoda, supported by Honda, three days before his birthday and in his fourth Formula 1 race, started 16th.
“I think he needs to control his anger a bit, teams don’t like it when you talk like that,” said Button, who has had a close relationship with Honda during his F1 career, as a expert for Sky Sports television.
“He has to control that if he wants to stay in this sport, especially with (team manager) Franz (Tost). You can’t talk about the car like that or talk about the team like that.
“He has to come back, see what his teammate is doing differently and discuss it with the team – not in public,” added the Briton, who now also works with Williams as a senior adviser.
Tsunoda has been ranked Japan’s top prospect for years, and he scored points on his Bahrain debut with the Red Bull-owned team.
(Report by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Hugh Lawson)