Tsunoda: Difficult but pleasing to handle F1 “heating moments” without ranting on the radio

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Since joining Formula 1 back in 2021 Yuki Tsunoda has gained quite the reputation for being rather unfiltered in team radios.

Over the years his race engineer Mattia Spini has heard quite a few complaints from the Japanese driver, the last being just at the beginning of this new season.

It was towards the end of the Bahrain Grand Prix, when Tsunoda was asked to let his teammate Daniel Ricciardo pass by to catch the Haas of Kevin Magnussen running ahead, that he made his disappointment clear on the radio. 

Ultimately the 23-year-old let the Australian pass – after what he described as “getting heating moments in my brain” , arguably a useful decision as the pair ended the race respectively in P13 and P14 with Ricciardo behind Magnussen. 

“I have to improve, for sure… mainly focusing on those self-controllers,” he said.

Something that he tried during the very next race, in Jeddah when Magnussen overtook him off the track in a – very unsportsmanlike – strategy call that cost the Dane two penalties, but helped his teammate Nico Hulkenberg to finish in P10 and grab a point for the team.

Despite the situation, no heated team radios from Tsunoda.

“I’m very pleased how I handled it. I would say if it’s normal for me to press the radio and say something I would say like usual me,” he explained.

“But at the same time, I want to change myself. So, I’m pleased that I’m able to prove that a little bit, that first step.”

Not an easy route, but the right one to take, while he finds other ways to steam off in such situations.

“Obviously to continue that is always more difficult, but that’s what I aim for and that’s what I have to do. But it wasn’t easy, obviously, even in my helmet, I was chewing my tongue like hell.”

Even tougher than handling the G-force on his single seater, but completely worth it.

“I didn’t know that, actually, this would take a lot of energy. More than I use for the neck or G-force, to hold on my stress.”

“I’m sure it will take more time to kind of get used to it. But at least for the first time, probably I achieved this and I’m sure I can continue this as well.”