“Consistency” is the “most important thing for me” — Tsunoda reflects on another strong performance after F1 Miami GP

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool
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Daniel Ricciardo might’ve been the standout performer in Saturday’s Sprint, but it was Yuki Tsunoda who delivered another points finish on Sunday. 

Ricciardo appeared to have the upper hand in the Sprint-related events, hitting the ground running with a surprise second row start on Friday while Tsunoda lagged behind in 15th.

Although Ricciardo came under threat from Sainz and Piastri in the Sprint, their efforts to chase him down proved futile, allowing the Australian to claim a morale-boosting fourth place finish. Tsunoda was later promoted to 8th after Lewis Hamilton was hit with a penalty, adding one point to his tally. 

The roles were then reversed, as Ricciardo was unable to replicate his earlier performance in qualifying for the main event, already crashing out in Q1. After a latent 3-place grid penalty earned at the previous round in China was applied, Ricciardo was relegated to the back of the grid for Sunday’s race. 

Tsunoda, on the other hand, progressed all the way to Q3 where he qualified 10th, poised for a potential points finish. He had a strong showing in the race, extending his stint and managing to capitalise on the Safety Car triggered by Magnussen and Sargeant’s collision. Tsunoda split the Mercedes drivers, ultimately finishing 7th and putting another six points on the board for RB—who, after Miami, extended their lead over Haas in the fight for 6th in the Constructors’ standings. 

Tsunoda’s impressive consistency has been paying off—having scored points in the last three of four races, the Japanese driver has now moved into P10 in the Drivers’ Championship, overtaking Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

“Yeah, I’m very happy,” Tsunoda said afterwards. “I mean, the amount of points we got this week was a lot for us. It shows how much people who work in the factory are pushing.

“It’s incredible and we’re happy that we were able to score points a bit more.”

RB was one of the teams that brought upgrades to Miami. Tsunoda admitted that it felt like they made a difference, despite not being as major as the upgrades unveiled by the likes of McLaren and Mercedes. 

“We got a bit of upgrades this week and I think that helps a lot,” Tsunoda said.

“Straight away from FP1, I feel comfortable. And, you know, yesterday we got a P4 and today, overall, we got a P7. Even probably faster than one of the Mercedes. (…) The amount of progress we’re having is crazy.”

Tsunoda also gave his thoughts on Miami hosting a Sprint weekend for the first time since the venue was introduced in 2022. 

“This week we scored points a lot,” he said. “So, I mean, we can’t complain and we’re very happy with it. Obviously, if we didn’t have this type of pace and we’re struggling to even score points, it would be tough for us and won’t be enjoyable as much as now.”

Tsunoda stated that he’s satisfied with the progress he’s made, particularly in terms of delivering consistent performances, something that wasn’t exactly his forte in the past: “First of all, it’s good I’m able to show the amount of progress I’m doing every race since last year. Also the team made such big progress since last year, from the second half of the season last year.

“I would say the most important thing for me and I think most of the progress I had is the consistency. And I think, so far, I’m able to sometimes outperform a lot of the good, a lot of the strong teams. So, yeah, I’m very happy.”

After a strong start to the season, Tsunoda had an uncharacteristically challenging weekend last time out in Shanghai, trailing behind Ricciardo in the Friday and Saturday sessions, and qualifying only 19th for the race. His miserable weekend culminated in a DNF after he was tagged and spun by Magnussen.

Tsunoda acknowledged that it was a learning experience and that the data collected would be valuable going forward. 

“I already forgot what happened in China, to be honest. I mean, that kind of race will happen sometime in the year. But the most important thing is we come back stronger the race after. 

“We looked through what happened there. I think we learned a couple of things and I think we used that experience for this race. So, even the times we struggle, it’s important data for us.  

“I think our strength is that we don’t keep doing the same thing, we don’t continue the same thing. So, I think that’s the most important.”