2024 Japanese GP: Race – Visa Cash App RB Formula One Team

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Yuki Tsunoda #22
Race: Pos. 10th
“I’m feeling relieved. After I lost some positions on the first start, I felt a little disappointment for sure, but at the same time, I just focused on the second start. I had a good one and was able to make up a few positions. One of the big highlights was the pitstop. Our mechanics did a fantastic job, it was such a fast pitstop that allowed us to overtake two cars, and that’s insane! Without that, it would’ve been a lot more difficult to score points today, so the team deserves big credit. So do the Japanese fans, they are great! Obviously, finally being able to score points in front of my home fans, here and those who couldn’t make it to the track and watched it on TV, makes me a very happy guy. I felt confident today. I knew our straight-line speed isn’t that competitive compared to other cars but at the same time, we know we had a lot of downforce, and the only chance we had was through the esses, normally affected by downforce. It allowed me a couple good overtakes and I definitely enjoyed that. In terms of tyre management, I feel like my driving in today’s race was probably my best. I started my career here and to be able to score points here is extremely special. A big thank you to everyone at Honda, Red Bull and Visa Cash App RB who have been involved and supported me throughout my journey. I don’t feel like I scored P10 today but P1 – it’s a great feeling.”
Daniel Ricciardo #3
Race: DNF
“After yesterday, where we made some steps in the right direction, I was really excited to come racing today to have a good day. In these cases, a Lap 1 incident is one of the worst things that could happen to a driver, especially as you don’t really have the chance to do anything after the massive build-up and energy used to be prepared for the race. It was a shame and an unfortunate one for all of us involved. It was a racing incident, and luckily, after some checks, both Alex and I are okay. The start of the race was really poor as Yuki and I were on medium tyres, and we were struggling so much compared to the other cars behind on the soft compound. In Turn 2, it settled a little bit, but I still felt like I was sliding and then saw an Aston on the outside of me. I was watching him but when I was preparing to enter Turn 3, without using all the track as it was the first lap, Albon got alongside me and had a better exit from Turn 2. I didn’t see him and we touched. This is racing sometimes and is part of it; not really anyone to blame, there was just a huge difference in terms of grip out of there. I’m sorry for the team, but China is soon, so we’ll focus on that.”
Jody Egginton (Technical Director)
“Today’s race has been a very close battle from start to finish for the final point, but we came out of it at the front of the group, thanks to what can only be described as a real team effort. Yuki drove superbly, managing his tyres well in the phases of the race when he needed, but also showing good pace when required to maintain the gap. The pitwall adapted the strategy very well following the restart and the pit crew produced a fantastic second pit stop under pressure, to give Yuki track position back in what was a very intense battle with Stroll, Bottas, Hulkenburg and Magnussen. Unfortunately, Daniel’s race never got going with his first lap incident putting him out of the race. However, even with no dry running on Friday, he has put together a solid Saturday qualifying, and we are confident we can continue to build on this in the coming events. Everybody trackside and back in Faenza and Bicester has and continues to work very hard, and today’s result provides further energy to keep pushing and developing the package and the team. As such, we are all looking forward to the next races.”
Laurent Mekies (Team Principal)
“Great result for the team today. Yuki drove a fantastic, well-controlled race in front of his home crowd, managing his tyres and pushing hard when it mattered. Some great overtaking too, and not a foot wrong all weekend. He deserves the superb result of today. Daniel’s incident in the first lap was unfortunate. We were quite exposed against our competitors behind us who were mainly on soft tyres, and these things can happen. What is important is that both our drivers had great pace here, as demonstrated yesterday in qualifying. The team performed very well at extracting everything we could from our package this weekend, including a decisive high-pressure pit stop in the race, and many difficult calls. It’s only one point for the championship but it is a very important one, especially on a day where the top five teams had both their cars finishing the race. A big well done to everyone in Faenza, in Bicester, and to our partner Honda. We know we need to keep pushing very hard in all areas to be able to keep topping the midfield, and it will be another completely new challenge for the sprint race in China in two weeks’ time.”
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