Yuki Tsunoda, RB, Suzuka, 2024

Tsunoda credits “supermen” pit crew for point in home race

Formula 1

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Yuki Tsunoda said he wouldn’t have scored a point in his home race without a rapid pit stop performed by his crew.

The RB driver jumped ahead of three rivals when he made his second and final pit stop of the race on lap 22. As well as leapfrogging Logan Sargeant, Kevin Magnussen and Valtteri Bottas, the rapid turnaround also kept him ahead of Lance Stroll.

“Good job guys, well done,” said Tsunoda on the radio as he left the pits. “Thank you.”

Tsunoda went on to score the final point available, the first time he has ever finished in the top 10 at Suzuka. He said it felt “very special.”

“Even P10, I feel like – I mean, it’s too big a thing to say, but I feel like I scored P1,” he told the official F1 channel.

“At the same time, big credit to the team that the team was able to have a very fast pit stop and [I was] able to rejoin the track in front of the Aston. Without that work, I wasn’t able to score points today.

“So big credit to the team and obviously also the Japanese fans who support me all the week this week. The amount of energy I’ve got every lap from them was definitely a special feeling.”

Tsunoda’s race began badly as he lost places at the initial start, but he regained them at the restart, which was triggered after his team mate Daniel Ricciardo crashed with Alexander Albon.

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“We struggled at the first start,” said Tsunoda. “We were wearing medium and the two cars behind, Haas and [Sauber] was wearing soft, so probably there was an advantage for softs. I two lost positions, I was bit disappointed, but at the same time I was able to regain that two positions at the restart, after I wore the softs. So I think I did very well there, regained there at the start.

“After that the pace was good, I was just feeling conformable. Obviously I lost a bit of positions at the first pit stop. But after that still the pace was good and in the end the team did like a super hero job, I feel like Supermen were doing my pit stops, that was crazy. I was very happy.”

He also made up places on-track, including a move around the outside of Pierre Gasly in the Esses which Tsunoda said “reminds me of when Kamui [Kobayashi] was doing overtaking outside turn 11.”

“I knew that we’re not amazing in straight-line speed this week,” he explained. “The only place that we were quite good compared to other competitors in the top midfield was the first sector. And I just had a pretty good confidence that I was able to overtake on the outside.”

Yuki Tsunoda, RB, Suzuka, 2024
Yuki Tsunoda, RB, Suzuka, 2024

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Keith Collantine
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16 comments on “Tsunoda credits “supermen” pit crew for point in home race”

  1. As he should great performance of the pitcrew!

  2. It was a good pitstop battle. RB did a good job and I’m glad he gave them credit. Tsunoda is once again showing he’s the one leading the team and not De Vries or Ricciardo. Which begs the question why they keep hiring “experience” over young talent.

    1. This pit stop battle will give ideas to Liberty Media. I loved it.
      Ricciardo, the team PR, is not on the group photo.
      Tsunoda & Stroll are two great hands when fighting wheel to wheel.

  3. I easily give Tsunado driver of the day, some daring well executed passes. He is getting better every race. Exactly the opposite of his teammate.

  4. Delighted for both him and this team.

    Too often we praise the winners, when the hardest workers are actually those in the background.

  5. I was impressed with their pit stop work, as if they were a top team.
    Yuki drove great as usual, but without this pit crew, he might not have scored points.
    I think this one point is worth a lot.

  6. Wow, supermen pit crew even!

  7. That pit stop was indeed decisive & interestingly, Ricciardo didn’t participate in the group photo, like Lawson & Iwasa.

    1. He had probably flown home already. I’m really looking forward to seeing Lawson and his silly haircut getting their chance to show just much of a nothing burger he will be that I would not even mind if they immediately put him. Not sure why, but the undeserved hype around him really irritates me. lol

      Let’s spare a thought for poor Bottas. I find Sauber’s pit problems every bit as embarrassing as Williams’ chassis whoas.

  8. @jere – both Lawson & Iwasa were in the picture. Lawson second to the right of the board end Iwasa on the left third person of the board.

    1. I indeed noted their presence.

  9. Maybe Daniel didn’t feel much like celebrating in view of his accident. Let’s not forget he made a better first start than Yuki and if things had worked out differently (no crash), he may have been the one celebrating the team’s point instead of Tsunoda. I’m not surprised he’s not in the photo.

    1. You DR fans and your militant excuses. They both had bad starts, Yuki had the inside line and was ahead in the corner. DR made the error that drove him into Albon. It’s immature to not be in the photo. Give Yuki credit

    2. … but Tsunoda repassed Ricciardo quickly thereafter and was ahead of Ricciardo when the latter crashed. Great passes by Tsunoda throughout the race too. One can always play the”what if?” game, but then there’s reality.

  10. I was impressed with Yuki this weekend.

    More so with his mental attitude than the driving, as good as that was.

    Last year was full of ranting, temper tantrums, shouting etc., but I think over the winter he has worked on the mental side and it has really helped, not only his driving, but the crew working around him.

    1. Good point. But then again everything went to plan. So, we haven’t seen yet if he can maintain his cool when something doesn’t go to plan. I’m happy people are finally giving Yuki credit for being good rather than just chalking it up to their teammate must have been struggling so much “of course Yuki should have been ahead.”

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