Yuki Tsunoda credits Visa Cash App RB’s pit crew on coming on top in the pit stop which enabled a point in F1 Japanese GP.

It was already a solid F1 Japanese GP until Saturday after Visa Cash App RB’s Tsunoda made it inside the Top 10. A point finish on Sunday only made it sweeter for the Japanese driver in front of his home crowd as he became the first to score since 2012.

It wasn’t easy for Tsunoda as he hade to make some bold moves on track to get to a position of scoring. It included a big pit stop from his team where he triumphed over four other cars to come ahead, especially Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

The group also had Stake F1 Team’s Valtteri Bottas, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Williams’ Logan Sargeant. That pit stop enabled Tsunoda to retain 10th where Stroll was the only possible contender who could have hurried him for the position.

“I’m feeling amazing, after such a long two years that I’ve been unable to score points,” said Tsunoda. “It’s a very happy feeling and a big credit to the team who did a fantastic job in the pitstops to be able to rejoin the track in front of the Aston Martin. Without that, I wouldn’t be able to score points. Big credit to the teams and also the Japanese fans.

“We struggled at the first start. 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, like I said, the team did like a super hero job, I feel like Supermen were doing my pit stops, that was crazy. I was very happy,” summed up Tsunoda, who continues to go through a fine patch.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner had equal praise for Tsunoda. “Yuki did a very good job, to score a point, the first Japanese driver in 12 years, it’s great for him, great for Honda, good for the VCARB team, so pleased for him,” he said.

With the performances he is putting in, it is unclear if that helps him to be a contender for Red Bull seat. Both Horner and even Helmut Marko concur on the topic. There is only an outside chance for Tsunoda anyhow, but if he persists, it may open up for him.

“It’s only four races now, Tsunoda for sure has improved a lot, he has his best season and was three times in Q3 already,” said Marko. “He doesn’t make mistakes anymore and his overtaking was incredible. In front of all the Japanese fans he stayed calm, didn’t do anything stupid and was fast.

“So let’s see how it keeps going. I was hoping that he wouldn’t crash when I saw his moves. I heard that this is the first time in 14 years that a Japanese driver scores points in Suzuka, so that says something.”

Here’s the pit stop: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2024-japanese-grand-prix-tsunoda-and-rb-come-out-on-top-in-five-car-pit-stop.1795666339521493521.html

Here’s Lance Stroll on losing out on P10

Here’s how F1 Japanese GP panned out

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