In the aftermath of Yuki Tsunoda’s race-influencing retirement from the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team issued a statement blasting “unacceptable, untrue, and completely disrespectful accusations of foul play.”
Max Verstappen was able to maintain his lead by minimizing the time lost from a pit stop that he was always going to have to make thanks to the virtual safety car that AlphaTauri driver Tsunoda’s exit brought out.
However, both Verstappen and team manager Christian Horner insisted in the days that followed that the timing of the VSC stoppage was not advantageous to Red Bull.
Tsunoda initially pulled over with what he believed to be a loose wheel, was then instructed to continue racing, slithered back to the pits while reporting a potential differential failure, and was finally sent out again at which point he reiterated his belief that there was a “broken diff” and was instructed to pull over permanently.
Now, AlphaTauri has angrily refuted these claims and called out the “language and insults” made not just at the team but also Red Bull’s head of strategy Hannah Schmitz.
“Such hateful behaviour cannot be tolerated, and to entertain accusations of foul play is unacceptable, untrue and completely disrespectful towards Hannah and us,” the team said.
“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.”