Franz Tost has stood up to Red Bull criticising Yuki Tsunoda, saying what happened during the Mexican GP qualifying was not his fault.
The dying moments of qualifying saw Tsunoda go off track. In a bizarre series of events, Sergio Perez, the driver behind him, went off at the same spot instead of going straight ahead. Max Verstappen, who was behind Perez, saw the two drivers off-track and backed off, ruining his lap.
Red Bull blamed Tsunoda for ruining their drivers’ qualifying, and marked him as the reason why they couldn’t lock the front row out. Tost stood up to Red Bull criticising Tsunoda, and offered full support for the rookie.
As reported by RaceFans, Tost said, “We said to him on the radio that the Red Bulls are coming and he just go(es) off the track (so) that they could pass easily. And Perez followed him.
“It’s not Yuki’s fault. He didn’t make a mistake. He did it deliberately. We said to him, the Red Bulls are coming, Perez is coming, and he deliberately went to the side not to disturb them or not to be in front of them.
“To be honest, I absolutely don’t understand why Perez went also off the track there. Yuki went to the side, as all the drivers do in qualifying to make (space) for the cars which are coming behind which on a qualifying lap.
“He was not on a qualifying lap. As easy as that. Therefore I don’t understand anything about this.”
Perez was angry with Tsunoda and made it known after the session.
“I got Yuki going through the high speed and once you have a lack of downforce here in the high speed, you’re off,” he said.
“I was annoyed,” he said. “It’s Q3, he shouldn’t be there. But it is what it is.”