At the Turkish Grand Prix Yuki Tsunoda was able to hold off Lewis Hamilton for several laps before the Briton managed to pass him and take P8.
While there’s nothing unusual that a driver wants to fight hard to keep his position, it is a bit unusual for that same driver to say he wasn’t doing it for himself, but actually to help a different driver from a different team.
In this case, the Japanese driver is driving for AlphaTauri, a team owned by Red Bull, so that does explain why he would want to help his sister team, but it also shows that Lewis has to fight four cars instead of the usual two.
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“I want Max to win in the last year of Honda, and for Red Bull as well,” Tsunoda said after the race.
“So I tried to hold Lewis up as much as possible, for I don’t know how many laps. I was trying to save more of my tyre. I tried to hold him behind for 20 laps.
“Eight laps is not enough,” Tsunoda concluded.
After the Hungarian Grand Prix Alpine’s Fernando Alonso also said he was defending hard against Hamilton because it was “also important for Max”.
This was even stranger to hear, because the Spaniard is, in fact, not driving for a team owned by Red Bull, nor does he have any formal association with Verstappen whatsoever.