Like the Japanese, the Ferrari racer began his career in the sport as a Red Bull junior, given his first shot with the sister team – then known as Toro Rosso. Now in his second year with AlphaTauri, Tsunoda is the latest youngster to graduate into F1 through the programme.
He has proven himself to be capable of strong results, but lapses in concentration and some silly mistakes have stunted his progress. After the latest, in which he took out team-mate Pierre Gasly at Silverstone, Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko revealed that a psychologist has been hired to work with the “problem child”.
It is hoped professional help will help Tsunoda to keep his cool while racing, as he regularly sounds angry and stressed while talking over team radio. The 22-year-old himself admitted his brain “overheats” when in the thick of the action.
Asked ahead of this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix if he has any advice for Tsunoda, Sainz said: “I think it’s a balance – I think you need to find a balance, an in-between point. I think there’s no harm in sometimes being a bit excited on the radio and keep making your point.
“Making sure that you’re making a point, and people take it, and there’s other times that you need to give the team calmness and trust. And I think in Formula 1, if there’s something I’ve learned over the years is how to try and find that balance with when to be a bit more agitated or when to be a bit more calm and it comes with experience.
“I remember in my first couple of years in Formula 1 I could be too calm on the radio and not make my point, or I could be too excited and make no sense about what I was talking about to help the team in taking the right decision or wrong. So I think it all depends on the moment and on its balance.”
Alpine driver Esteban Ocon also chimed in, and conceded that it is always difficult to control your temper when racing on the edge. “It’s not easy to stay level, calm when situations are very heated in the car, because we know that at these kind of moments you can lose everything or win everything,” said the Frenchman.
“So, yeah, I guess the most important though, is in this situation, how you come back to yourself, you know, just after that? In my case this is something I’ve been working on for a while, before I got to Formula 1, with a lot of different exercises, just working on the pressure. But yeah, people just react differently to different things happening to them.”