Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
27 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
50 days
09 May
Next event in
67 days
23 May
Race in
85 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
99 days
13 Jun
Race in
106 days
27 Jun
Race in
120 days
04 Jul
Next event in
123 days
18 Jul
Race in
141 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
155 days
29 Aug
Race in
183 days
05 Sep
Race in
190 days
12 Sep
Race in
197 days
26 Sep
Race in
211 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
214 days
10 Oct
Race in
225 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
239 days
31 Oct
Race in
246 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
267 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
281 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
288 days

Toro Rosso drivers praise Yamamoto after practice debut

Toro Rosso drivers Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly believe Formula 1 rookie Naoki Yamamoto did “really well” and a “very good job” on his debut in Japanese Grand Prix practice.

shares
comments
Toro Rosso drivers praise Yamamoto after practice debut

Reigning SUPER GT and Super Formula champion Yamamoto, a Honda-backed driver, stepped into Gasly’s car for FP1 at Suzuka.

Yamamoto lapped 17th-fastest, 3.2s off the pace and one tenth slower than Kvyat albeit on a different programme, and was the busiest driver in the session as he racked up 30 laps.

Asked by Motorsport.com to assess Yamamoto’s performance, Kvyat said: “I think he did a good job, a very good job.

“Obviously he is local, so he knows his way around here. I told him to turn left out of the pit box, but he didn't!

“We were on quite different programs with the tyres, it was hard to judge, but what I saw it looked like he definitely knows how to drive a racing car, especially around here, and he is a nice guy as well.”

Read Also:

Gasly was teammates with Yamamoto in Super Formula in 2017 and received an apology from the 31-year-old for taking his seat in FP1.

Though Gasly admitted it’s “never great” to miss the opening session, particularly given final practice has been cancelled at Suzuka amid the threat of Typhoon Hagibis, he said it was a better experience given Yamamoto was the driver he moved aside for.

“He helped me a lot that year [in Super Formula], I know how nice he is and how much he wanted to try F1,” said Gasly.

“And after the session I asked him if he enjoyed it and he told me, ‘The power is amazing! I know that he really enjoyed it which was the main thing and he did really well as well.

“We managed to get almost everything we wanted.”

Asked if he thought the team was impressed, Yamamoto himself said: “I’d like to say yes but for sure I wanted to make a more good result – I’m a racing driver, this position is not satisfying.

“But the most important is I give great information for the team. This weekend I wish a good result for the team, especially Pierre, who gave me his car. I’m grateful to him for that." 

Though Yamamoto was not thrilled to finish the session 17th, he admitted his performance relative to Kvyat was a “positive point”.

He said it was a more “nervous” experience by driving in front of his home crowd, and was left with “no words – a really, really exceptional time”.

Yamamoto highlighted the power, weight and tyres as the major differences between grand prix machine and his Super Formula car.

“At the beginning of the session, it was amazing power,” he said. “I was very, very surprised.

“I’ve never felt that much power. The throttle travel is longer. At the beginning of the session I wasn’t used to it but by the end I was a bit used to it.

“It’s maybe nearly 1000bhp, 900bhp power in F1, Super Formula is nearly 600bhp.

“The second different point is car weight. Super Formula is 600kg but F1 is heavier, more than 100kg heavier. This is a lot of influence on car balance and feeling.”

He added: “It is difficult to find a good working window of the Pirelli tyre. I never experienced a Pirelli tyre, but the team helped a lot.”

Asked how he found the experience as a whole, Yamamoto said: “I learned something about the car. The balance had a bit of understeer, especially mid-corner. Low-speed corners was a little tricky.

“I gave as much good information as possible to the team. This is my home grand prix, it’s a lot of fun coming to Suzuka, even just for Friday FP1.

“I’m really surprised and would like to say thank you to everybody, Honda, Toro Rosso and my fans.”

Williams trials experimental front wing in Suzuka

Previous article

Williams trials experimental front wing in Suzuka

Next article

Renault drivers explain torrid Friday at Suzuka

Renault drivers explain torrid Friday at Suzuka
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Japanese GP
Sub-event FP1
Drivers Pierre Gasly , Daniil Kvyat , Naoki Yamamoto
Teams AlphaTauri
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021