Tsunoda finds “zero positives” in race spoiled by slow pit stop

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In the round-up: Yuki Tsunoda was frustrated after a point-less race in Hungary.

In brief

“Everything was frustrating” for Tsunoda

Tsunoda started on soft tyres and gained six places on the first lap to run 11th. However a slow first pit stop undid much of that progress and he ended the race 15th, stuck behind Nico Hulkenberg.

“Everything was frustrating, everything this week,” said Tsunoda after the race. “Zero positives, to be honest. So, pretty frustrating.

“The pace was good for myself, but we just didn’t put it all together.”

Red Bull “immensely proud” of wins record

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said his team were thrilled to have broken the record for most consecutive Formula 1 race wins. Yesterday’s victory was their 12th in a row, breaking a record which was set by McLaren in 1988.

“We achieved history today, which is something very special for the whole team to achieve the record of 12 consecutive grand prix victories and to break that record from 1988,” said Horner.

“I remember watching Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and the great McLaren team at the time led by Ron Dennis. To think that it has taken 35 years but we’re the team that managed to break that, particularly with the quality of opposition that we’re racing against is a phenomenal achievement and one that the whole team can be just immensely, immensely proud of.”

Aston Martin have “reality check” in Hungary

Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll finished ninth and 10th for Aston Martin as their dip in form continued at the Hungaroring. Team principal Mike Krack said “getting two cars home inside the points was the maximum today.”

“Both Lance and Fernando performed very well, but we are missing the performance to challenge higher up.”

Krack described the result as “a reality check” for the team. “We need to keep our heads down, keep working hard, and push through the developments to get back to where we were in earlier in the season.”

“Upsetting” result for Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo enjoyed by far their best qualifying performance of the season but came away with no points for the third race in a row. A problem with the braking system delayed Zhou Guanyu’s getaway, which also compromised Valtteri Bottas.

“Today’s result is upsetting for the team,” admitted Alfa Romeo representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi. “But there is at least one major positive from the weekend: our overall performance improved from the previous races, and we must carry it with us as we head to Spa next week, for the final race before the summer break.”

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Comment of the day

Was Formula 1 wrong to freeze engine development?

F1 should not have this to begin with. All development should be possible without any limitations except for the technical regulations. This should not be spec series or balance of performance in any sense.

Right now we have an excellent engine manufacturer in Mercedes and and excellent aero developer in Red Bull. Mercedes is not allowed to develop their engine and it is favouring the team that is great at aero. This is not F1.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Karan and Younger Hamii!

On this day in motorsport

  • 35 years ago today Ayrton Senna won at a very wet Hockenheimring while team mate Alain Prost recovered to take second

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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35 comments on “Tsunoda finds “zero positives” in race spoiled by slow pit stop”

  1. Tsunoda was probably a bit upset as well seeing Ricciardo do reasonably well in comparison

    1. Tsunoda was probably a bit upset as well seeing Ricciardo do reasonably well in comparison

      By having a pit stop that didn’t ruin his race…

      1. It did make his race harder and the team decision to make him run long for his 2nd stint make sure to ruin his race.
        If they didn’t botched his 1st stop, he should keep an effective 11th after the 1st stop (basically ahead of Bottas and Albon) but instead he was stuck behind Albon who was slower than Bottas. And by running a long 2nd stint basically everyone ended up doing an undercut on him and he was out behind Sargeant who was holding Ric for Ric first 2 stint.
        So basically if they pitted Tsunoda at the same time as Ric or even Albon (who pitted a bit later than Ric), Tsunoda should still be ahead of Ric, maybe can finish just behind Albon (Albon finished in 11th, thus 12th should be possible). If Tsunoda pitted as early as Ric, 11th should be possible. For this kind of thing, you need to trust the team since they are the one that can see the overall picture. Basically the team let him down ended up making Ric looks good.

        1. Basically the team let him down ended up making Ric looks good.

          Good summary. Conspiracy theorists would suggest that it had a different reason, but as they say: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” or in this case “muck up”

        2. Great analysis. I know all media are trying to sell this Ricciardo hype, I am sure there is good potion of it in Netflix drive to survive too. But Yuki was not bad at all. His strategy did not work for him. Ironically he did only 25 laps on medium and his fastest time was the last lap of the race. Ricciardo on other hand did 58 laps on medium which seems to work best.

  2. Performance equalisation, Development freezes & any sort of balance of performance type system should have zero place in F1 as the pinnacle of the sport.

    Draw up a set of regulations and let the competitors have at it. If you do a better job you deserve your success and if you haven’t then get your stuff together and work on doing a better job next year and if you can’t then tough.

    Those who do the best job shouldn’t be held down to allow those who haven’t to catch up. That isn’t what F1 has ever or should ever be.

    But of course we all know that Liberty don’t care about the sport so will throw away it’s history, heritage and identity to ensure there American style show is put above the sport. And we also know that they don’t care about or value the long time and most dedicated members of the fanbase and will just bend over backwards to get the netflix nascar casuals.

    I’d say WEC with the more open Hypercar rules would be a nice alternative but sadly thats a farcical joke with the manipulative balance of performance changes every round. It’s essentially become just as bad as the ultimate joke gimmick of the anti-sport success penalty ballast thats blighted many once amazing championships the past 20 years.

    Man i miss the days when Motor Racing was actually viewed and treated like a sport. The decline of the sport the past 20 years or so has been really sad.

    1. Performance equalisation, Development freezes & any sort of balance of performance type system should have zero place in F1 as the pinnacle of the sport.

      What pinnacle? ‘This’ is the pinnacle of motorsport???
      There are plenty of better series than this, in so many ways.

      Draw up a set of regulations and let the competitors have at it.

      They did, and those regs state that F1 isn’t a free-for-all for the benefit of the biggest spender anymore.
      Hopefully that means that good ideas, creativity and performance on the day can be more important than the brute financial force and success feedback that has lead to the extended periods of domination – particularly in modern F1.
      It will also hopefully mean that at least most seasons are worth watching, and aren’t a complete foregone conclusion based on the form of the previous season. F1 isn’t just some club racing series with nobody watching and no bills to pay – this is a huge money-making machine, and has been for at least 50 years already. Providing a desirable product to the paying viewers (you aren’t the only one) means making certain sacrifices for the benefit of the whole.
      Just like with any other organised system or society.

      But of course we all know that Liberty don’t care about the sport so will throw away it’s history, heritage and identity

      You buy the commercial rights, then.
      Maintaining as much of that heritage as they do is also holding them back in many ways. F1 could be (subjectively) much better without many aspects that may have been relevant 70 years ago that simply don’t provide sufficient positives anymore. The tech has moved on, the cars have moved on, society has moved on. The world has moved on, and much of F1 hasn’t.
      And what is F1’s identity? Surely you must agree that every person sees F1 with their own unique set of values?
      It is the most popular motorsport series globally, so therefore, it must cater to the largest range of audience tastes and desires. That’s why it has grown in popularity – not because it is a tech nerd’s wet dream.
      And it’s got little to do with how long someone has watched F1, and much more to do with their own personal likes and dislikes. Plenty of very-long-time viewers are on-board with many of the recent changes and aren’t so stubbornly objecting to every adjustment. Likewise, many new viewers prefer what they think F1 used to be like, too.
      Everything in life evolves. Almost nothing is the same as it was 50+ years ago, and I certainly wouldn’t expect a development-based racing series such as F1 to be stuck so heavily in the past. Why do you?

      I’d say WEC with the more open Hypercar rules would be a nice alternative but sadly thats a farcical joke with the manipulative balance of performance changes every round.

      BoP is the primary reason the rules are as open as they are. It’s exactly why manufacturers and teams compete in such series – because they have the opportunity to do well without having to invest (and risk, or waste) $billions.
      Given how relevant motorsport is to manufacturer’s core businesses, it’s surprising they bother investing at all. They are buying advertising space, and are far less interested in sporting glory at any cost.

      Man i miss the days when Motor Racing was actually viewed and treated like a sport. The decline of the sport the past 20 years or so has been really sad.

      Do you sell those rose tinted glasses? Where can I buy some?
      You want ‘pure’ motorsport – stay away from the mid and top-tier series. Go to your local, completely non-professional, club events instead – they are the ones racing for the passion and not for the money.
      Hillclimb events and gymkhanas may just be your ideal category, by the sound of things. Rules pretty much stop at “Race what you brung.”

    2. F1 as the pinnacle of the sport should be the leader in performance equalisation, development freezes & any sort of balance of performance type system. If it wants to be viewed as a sport, it needs to provide the most possibly equal opportunities for the drivers. The economic and engineering competition between manufacturers is not a sport – it’s an industry.

      1. It isn’t just a racing competition, though. If you want that, there are other series which are. F1 is also very much an engineering competition, which BoP systems neutralise.

        If they want F1 to become a pure racing competition, they should abandon the idea of building different cars and just become a spec Formula.

  3. I can see Yuki’s perspective, but he also forgets that his Team mate was very unlucky to get caught up in the first corner through no fault of his own and dropped to the back. I think their finishing positions relative to one another are a fair reflection, maybe not so relative to the rest of the field.

  4. While the unfortunate long pit stop hampered him, he still doesn’t have an excuse to get out-performed by DR with a considerable disadvantage in car familiarity since he also got delayed unfortunately by Zhou, possibly even getting damage, but still finished higher, so not a good look for the former with Lawson performing well in SF.
    Perhaps DEV’s performance level masked his true level over the first ten GPs.

    Reality check, yes, but their competitive level over the last three GPs could be about switching full focus to next season. I thought about this as a possibility yesterday.

    Blocking clubs’ views, lol.

    LH isn’t the first driver to notice a stick mic above & push it aside.

    I couldn’t really agree more with COTD.

    1. Fransiskus Febrianto
      24th July 2023, 9:07

      Are you new to F1? This track is not known for overtaking, so basically track position is king (unless you have a big speed advantage). Without that slow pitstop, Tsunoda probably would’ve finished 11 since he would be ahead of Bottas after the first stop. 11 is not guaranteed tho since there is still the 2nd stop.
      Because of the slow pitstop, he was stuck behind Albon, which I think is marginally slower than Tsunoda (and both are slower than Bottas). When Albon pitted for the 2nd time, Tsunoda only pitted like 12 lap later and by that time Albon already make big enough delta with his fresher tyres to stay ahead of Bottas after Bottas pitted and when Tsunoda pitted, he ended up stuck behind Sargeant (which Ric was stuck behind him in the first stint too), thus it is basically over for Tsunoda. If at least do Tsunoda’s 2nd stop at similar time as Albon, he will be ahead of Ric. But because of these stuck behind slower cars throughout the race (while Ric basically in free air most of the time, although he did end up doing a very long last stint) simply showed that track position is king and team like AT can’t afford to be stuck behind any car since they are not fast enough to overtake any car on merit.

      TL;DR Without the slow 1st stop, Tsunoda would certainly be ahead of Ric. Even with botched 1st stop, if the 2nd stop was timed better, Tsunoda would still be ahead of Ric. So basically Tsunoda ended up behind Ric is mostly on the team instead of the driver. What Tsunoda can do better is probably to not drive so closely to Albon during his 2nd stint, thus I think ended up killing his tyres. The team probably expected when Albon did his 2nd stop, Tsunoda would gone faster, but unfortunately he didn’t.

    2. @jerejj Ricciardo did have some diffuser damage after his incident with Zhou, which better reflects how well Ricciardo did on his first outing with AT.

    3. On a procession track like Hungaroring, strategy matters. Honestly the amount of times AT has ruined Yuki’s strategy…

  5. Engine freezes, even engine parity, is not something new to F1 so it is wrong for it to be singled out by the COTD. Many people forget that at the end of the last V8 era, a period many people hark back to fondly, engine development was frozen. Indeed, engine parity was achieved most of the way through the 70s and early 80s because F1 was a de facto spec engine formula because of the proliferation of the Cosworth DFV.

    1. Indeed @geemac, F1 has always done a lot around trying to balance power differences over the years, to make it possible for the cars to compete on a somewhat evened out playing field.

    2. notagrumpyfan
      24th July 2023, 8:02

      So one could argue that engine equalisation is part of F1’s DNA :p

    3. I know it’s been done before, but that doesn’t make it right. If they are going to artificially “equalise” engine performance, they may as well go the whole hog, use a spec engine and declare once and for all that they want F1 to be a purely aero development formula. What’s the point running multiple different engine manufacturers of they are going to artificially equalise their performance? Why should engine manufacturers take part if they can’t show off their abilities?

      I have no problem with performance converging naturally over a stable regulations period, nor with the budget cap. I don’t even mind the aero testing restrictions, these just make it easier for teams to catch up rather than forcing equalisation. But freezing or artificially equalising a significant portion of just wrong, IMHO.

      1. The engine manufactures agreed to an engine freeze to save costs since the power units will be changed in 2026. I suppose it was a similar situation with the V8s.

        And the freeze was agreed upon with the understanding that, at the time, the engines were relatively equal. If the circumstances have changed (if some power units have gained performence through reliability upgrades) then it’s fair to review the engines to ensure they are still relatively equal.

        And if I have to take a guess, the manufacturers with the best PUs agreed to the freeze because they didn’t have a lot of performance left without very significant investments. At some point there isn’t anything left without a total power unit overhaul, which is costly and risky.

        So, again, this wasn’t forced upon the manufacturers. They agreed because they all thought it was in their best interest.

        1. @casjo Honda leaving was the main reason, as nobody else wants to supply Red Bull engines. This allowed Honda, or a third party, to ‘service’ the existing Honda PUs through 2025.

          But as so often what the teams think is distinctly different from what actually happens . Engine manufacturers agreeing to stop development on engines is silly. It’s an own goal, to borrow that phrase. Especially with Honda throwing everything they had, and had planned to do, at their final iteration of their PU, effectively making it the best engine in F1.

        2. They agreed because one of them would have been forced to supply RBR if they didn’t, who would blame them for any lack of performance. None of them wanted RBR as a customer, RBR didn’t want to be a Renault customer again* and weren’t ready to fully take over their own engine manufacture. I suspect Renault were ready to agree to any alternative to having RBR back after the trashing they got from them last time, and Mercedes and Ferrari likely viewed it as the lesser evil (especially as the Honda unit RBR were looking to take over looked quite weak when they agreed).

          The freeze should have been lifted as soon as Honda came back, though. It was in place purely because they “left”.

          * IIRC Renault would have been forced to take them if noone else agreed to supply them, as they had the fewest customer teams at the time.

    4. The Cosworth DFV was a brilliant product. It was not defacto spec, it was the ultimate expression of brilliant engineering in a relatively open formula, that was improved over time as well. It’s justification for ‘spec’ racing, it’s the opposite.

      1. The difference with the DFV, of course, is that its manufacturer made it available to all teams who wanted to buy it.
        That simply doesn’t happen in the modern corporate F1 era.

        I distinctly remember Red Bull trying to purchase and use Mercedes engines several years ago with no success. In more ways than one…

        1. TBH I do think the engine mfrs should be forced to supply to any team who wants for a set cost.

          That said, if they did so at the start of the hybrid era, we’d probably have had only 2 engine suppliers by 2016, Mercedes and Ferrari, and that only because Ferrari would be unlikely to accept running someone else’s engine.

    5. It’s true that it has been part of F1’s history. But the main reason was costs, and long standing differences between the engines were not equalized. Renault had an inherent advantage with the off throttle blow, while Mercedes remained the most powerful throughout. What they have now is a deliberate Balance of Performance scheme.

      Comically, rather than preventing F1 losing a manufacturer, it instead enshrined an advantage for the best engine (post fuel changes anyway). If ever there was a good example of the height of a salary having little to do with the smarts of the person receiving it, F1 team bosses are it.

      Red Bull must not be able to believe how silly others are. Floor changes, sure. Fuel changes, sure. Engine freeze, sure. No MGU-H, sure. Point deduction for breaking the budget cap, nah!

  6. The race for P3 in the WCC should be an interesting one. Mercedes should have P2 wrapped up in the WCC, mostly due to their driver performances, but the Aston, Mclaren and Ferrari race for 3rd should be mega really close.

    Right now, Mclaren is the team on the rise, they’ll probably come out of the summer break still as the 2nd or 3rd fastest team on the grid. They seem to have found the right development path, and they have two drivers that can capitalise on the gains pretty well. Ferrari seems to be consistently the 4th quickest team on the grid, but they still have an 80 point lead on Mclaren. If they can have one driver finishing in front of one Mclaren every race weekend, they can still keep Mclaren behind. Aston, they’ve dropped from the 2nd fastest team on the grid to the 5th quickest team on the grid. I think everyone knew that the true test of Aston as a team would be their in-season development. So far, they’ve failed to capitalise on their strong base concept they started the season off with. It’s a real shame, as with their limited wind tunnel time, it will only get tougher for them. Having Lance in the team doesn’t help either.. as he’s been the only backmarker capability driver driving among the top 4 teams this year. I predict Aston to drop like a rock for the remainder of the season.

    If I had to guess, I’d say the top 5 in WCC would finish in the following order –
    1) Red Bull
    2) Mercedes
    3) Ferrari
    4) Mclaren
    5) Aston Martin

    1. @todfod Unfortunately for Mclaren, I think they’re a bit too far behind in points to reach P4 in eleven GPs, but everything’s possible.

      1. @todfod Tagging failed somehow

      2. To catch Ferrari they need to outscore them by an average of 7.28 points per race. For Aston Martin they need 8.82 points per race. It’s not impossible, considering Ferrari are a mess and Aston Martin have Stroll. In Hungary they recovered 18 points to Ferrari and 25 to Aston Martin. So it’s doable if they manage to minimize point losses in their worst GPs.

      3. @jerejj

        Lets see if tagging you works.

        I think its difficult for them to catch Ferrari, as they’ll be more consistently delivering points as compared to Aston, which will only have one driver scraping in to the points from now on. But, I could see them making up 90 points on Aston over the remaining 10 races. Heck, they took more than 35 points off the Astons in the last 2 race weekends.

        1. It’s looking like there has been an update to the site. I’ve noticed the “activity” section has gone missing from the User menu, so you can’t get a list of your own comments anymore (unless it’s moved somewhere). I suspect tagging has been broken in the process.

          1. It’s looking like there has been an update to the site.

            Change yesterday, perhaps? That would explain the cloudflare timeout responses

        2. @todfod – McLaren gained much more than 35 points on Aston Martin in two races (25 yesterday, 24 in Silverstone). If this trend continues, there’s no need for 10 races, five will be enough. Of course, McLaren need perfect weekends. But with a much faster car, it’ll be easy to get ahead of Aston Martin, which now barely gets into top 10 on any race track.
          Also, McLaren haven’t brought all of their upgrades, yet. So I believe they can beat even Ferrari this year, which is just 80 points in front of them.
          But we’ll see.

          1. If Ferrari keep screwing up, it’s a definite possibility.

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