AlphaTauri condemns controversy surrounding Tsunoda’s Dutch GP retirement

AlphaTauri condemns controversy surrounding Tsunoda's Dutch GP retirement

Yuki Tsunoda’s retirement from the Dutch Grand Prix has been the subject of “unacceptable, incorrect, and absolutely insulting” conspiracy theories, according to the AlphaTauri F1 team.

During Sunday’s race in Zandvoort, Tsunoda made two on-track stops in two laps because he believed that a wheel had not been correctly affixed to his car after a pit stop.

Tsunoda crept back to the pits after coming to a suspected loose wheel for a brief moment. Tsunoda was sent back out after a prolonged pit stop during which his crew could be seen tightening his belts and changing his tires.

As soon as he exited the pits, the Japanese driver reported that he was still experiencing the same problem. He then pulled aside and got out of his car after receiving instructions from his team to stop in a secure location.

Tsunoda’s retirement brought about a Virtual Safety Car period, which allowed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to make a fast pit stop and maintain his lead over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

Due to the nature of AlphaTauri’s tight ties to sister team Red Bull, the bizarre series of events sparked wildly imaginative conspiracy theories on social media.

In a statement released on Monday, AlphaTauri reacted to the allegations and denounced “hateful behavior” directed towards Hannah Schmitz, head of strategy at Red Bull.

“It is incredibly disheartening to read some of the language and comments directed at our team and towards Red Bull Racing’s Head of Strategy, Hannah Schmitz,” the statement posted on social media read.

“Such hateful behaviour cannot be tolerated, and to entertain accusations of foul play is unacceptable, untrue and completely disrespectful towards both Hannah and us.”

“We have always competed independently, fairly and with the highest levels of respect and sportsmanship. Yuki had a failure that the team didn’t immediately detect which caused him to stop on track. To suggest anything different is insulting and categorically incorrect.”

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