We finally have to get start-up problems under control!

In the last five Formula 1 races, Yuki Tsunoda finished in the points four times. With 15 out of 20 points, he contributed a large part to the success of the Racing Bulls, currently comfortably in 6th place in the constructors’ championship. The gap to Haas is already large, instead Aston Martin seems within reach.

The Japanese also caused a sensation in qualifying at his home race in Imola (the factory in Faenza is just a few kilometers away) and crossed the finish line in P10. Excessive starting problems for the Racing Bulls prevented more. Daniel Ricciardo with P13 is still only able to score points in the sprint.

Racing Bulls teammates Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda was again the much faster Racing Bull in Imola, Photo: LAT Images

Yuki Tsunoda frustrated: Would have been possible without a catastrophic start

“The start ruined our race,” complains Yuki Tsunoda, who otherwise had a very good weekend. Already strong in training, he was at his best in Q2 and was again clearly the better Racing Bull driver. In Q3 he qualified in P7 in the Mercedes sandwich ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

His efforts in Imola were rewarded (only) with one point. Reason for trouble: Yuki Tsunoda lost two places right at the start. With an undercut he then at least managed to get past Nico Hülkenberg again. However, due to the early stop on lap 12, the Honda pupil then had his hands full getting his tires to the finish.

“The pace was okay, but I had to do a lot of tire management,” said the recently 24-year-old. His second stint on the hard set of tires was a Herculean task of 50 laps. “We actually didn’t want to stop so early. But I lost positions at the start, so we had to do it that way.” So that RB doesn’t always get itself into trouble, the starting problem must be solved as quickly as possible.

Above all, there is a lack of consistency. Of the seven race weekends that have taken place so far, both drivers only got a good start on one of them. The problem is that the team from Faenza doesn’t know exactly what the problem is. At Red Bull with the same engine and transmission everything works.

Peter Bayer: Racing Bulls can now always fight for points

“We have to look at whether it’s due to our processes or the driver,” explains CEO Peter Bayer on ServusTV. Aside from the starting problem, the Austrian is very satisfied. “Both drivers have what it takes to finish in the points. We’ve been talking about top 5 teams for a long time. Now I dare to say there are top 5.5 teams fighting for points.”

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Daniel Ricciardo not only struggled in Emilia Romagna, but also with spinning tires at the start. “As a result, I fell out of the points and was caught in a crowd of cars,” he explains. “We would have been much faster if we had free travel.” Postscript: “To be honest, it was a pretty boring race for me.”

Things may have been boring at Mercedes in the race, but not within the team. You can read here why George Russell was dissatisfied after the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix despite setting the fastest race lap.

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