Tsunoda's gearbox broke in half in Imola Q1 crash

Tsunoda crashed heavily at the exit of Variante Alta early in qualifying for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix on Saturday, causing a red flag and bringing his session to an end.

The Japanese driver was able to walk away from the crash unscathed, but his car was less fortunate after he spun rearwards into the barrier at speed.

AlphaTauri’s mechanics were left with a sizeable amount of repairs to complete before Sunday’s race, with technical director Jody Egginton revealing the extent of the damage.

Tsunoda said after the session that he got “too excited” during his first push lap, causing the crash that means he will now start the race from the back of the grid.

The mistake marks the first major setback for Tsunoda’s fledgling F1 career after an impressive debut in Bahrain three weeks ago that saw him finish ninth after some late overtakes.

Tsunoda’s teammate Pierre Gasly will start fifth on the grid at Imola, but Egginton said the team planned to be aggressive on strategy with both of its drivers.

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