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F1 Driver Yuki Tsunoda Aiming to Keep the Momentum Going at Japanese Grand Prix

Now in his fourth season in Formula One, RB driver Yuki Tsunoda had his best result of the 2024 season at the Australian Grand Prix on March 24.



Yuki Tsunoda
Formula One driver Yuki Tsunoda attends a promotional event ahead of the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix in Tokyo on April 3. (Kyung Hoon Kim/REUTERS)

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Yuki Tsunoda will have a lot riding on the upcoming Formula One Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, April 7.

The RB driver is coming off his best performance of the 2024 season when he finished eighth at the Australian Grand Prix on March 24 to score points for the first time this year.

Tsunoda was bumped up to seventh after the race at the Albert Park Circuit thanks to a post-race penalty to Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso and received six points for his effort.

After missing out on the points in the first two races ― Bahrain (March 2) and Saudi Arabia (March 9) ― Tsunoda was thrilled with the results in Melbourne.

"The team did a fantastic job throughout the week," Tsunoda said of the results in Australia. "I would say I'm very happy with my performance."

Added Tsunoda, "I think particularly, we were very consistent."

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda competes in qualifying on March 23 for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. (Robert Cianflone/GETTY IMAGES/RED BULL CONTENT POOL)

Tsunoda made progress in 2023, delivering 17 of AlphaTauri's 25 points. Since then, the Red Bull-owned team was renamed to Visa Cash App RB for the 2024 season.

The Japanese driver has been mentioned as a potential candidate for promotion to the Red Bull top team in 2025. A strong performance at Mie Prefecture's Suzuka Circuit would definitely bolster those chances.

Yuki Tsunoda
RB's Yuki Tsunoda participates in preseason testing on February 21 at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain. (Hamad I Mohammed/REUTERS)

Yuki Tsunoda Faces Challenges at Home Circuit

With the Suzuka Circuit boasting some high-speed corners similar to Albert Park, Tsunoda is hoping for a breakthrough on home soil.

"The track itself is very high-speed and at the same time very risky," Tsunoda said on Thursday. 

"Once you step out of the track you end up in the wall," added the 23-year-old native of Kanagawa Prefecture. "So you know a bit of fear as well. It's definitely my favorite track. I never get bored there."

So far, the Suzuka track hasn't been particularly kind to Tsunoda. He finished 12th in the 2023 Japanese Grand Prix for the then AlphaTauri team, just missing out on the points, and 13th in the rain-hit 2022 event, his F1 debut at the legendary circuit.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.


Author: Jim Armstrong


The author is a longtime journalist who has covered sports in Japan for over 25 years. You can find his articles on SportsLook.

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