AlphaTauri slam ‘unacceptable’ Tsunoda conspiracy theories at Dutch GP

AlphaTauri have strongly denied accusations suggesting that there was foul play involved with Yuki Tsunoda’s retirement from the Dutch Grand Prix. The sister team of Red Bull released a statement condemning allegations aimed towards the team as “untrue” and “unacceptable” following a series of conspiracy theories that had circulated on social media.

Tsunoda broke down on lap 48 of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort which ensured that the Virtual Safety Car was brought out, allowing race leader Max Verstappen to pit for fresh tyres with the benefit of not losing as much time to Lewis Hamilton behind him.

That moment effectively changed the face of the race, with Verstappen then able to maintain his advantage over Hamilton, who was trying to make a one-stop strategy work and would have almost certainly retaken the lead had Verstappen stopped in normal race circumstances.

It led some on social media to speculate that AlphaTauri, the junior team for Red Bull, orchestrated the incident to help Red Bull win the race. But the team have issued a firm denial, as well as defending Tsunoda and chief strategist Hannah Schmidt, who had been a target for derogatory comments on social media.

“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 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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