Tsunoda: Battling emotions in F1 as hard as ‘fighting G-forces’


Yuki Tsunoda says he's still working  to get a grip on his emotions inside the cockpit, admitting that resisting the urge to vent his frustrations takes as much energy as fighting the G-forces of an F1 car.

Tsunoda has a unique nemesis – himself. The 24-year-old Japanese driver, now in his fourth season, has become somewhat infamous for his unfiltered outbursts over team radio.

Expletives and frustration often fill the airwaves, particularly when team orders don't go his way.

A case in point – the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix. When instructed to let RB teammate Daniel Ricciardo pass, Tsunoda initially balked, publicly voicing his displeasure and then later aggressively driving past the Aussie on the race’s cool-down lap.

Suppressing his fiery emotions under his helmet has been an enduring effort for Tsunoda, but progress has been painfully slow.

Yet, he knows that without improving his self-control, a promotion to Red Bull – should his on-track performances make him worthy of such consideration – is improbable.

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So far this season, Tsunoda’s track record is showing a positive bias overall. In qualifying, he’s reached Q3 two times out of three while comprehensively outpacing Ricciardo on Saturdays.

Race day has been a mixed bag however, with no points scored in the first two races – and Tsunoda falling victim to Kevin Magnussen’s roadblock tactics in Jeddah – but a strong run to P7 finally materializing in Australia last time out.

Nevertheless, Red Bull motorsport advisor Helmut Marko has publicly told Tsunoda that he needs “to do more” to put himself in contention for a coveted seat at Red Bull racing for 2025.

“Hopefully they will consider it,” said Tsunoda in Melbourne, quoted by The Race.

“At the same time, I do as much as I can to show the performance even to other teams. I just want to increase my value as a driver [and prove] that I can fight.

“I don’t know what’s going on with Red Bull, but hopefully they will strongly consider it as well.”

However, the 23-year-old young gun is all too aware that regardless of his results, he needs to get a hold on his stress inside the car.

“It’s the thing I have to improve,” said Tsunoda. “So I’m working on it. And yes, I'll show improve. [I] need more than two steps, not just like one step. And I have confidence that I can prove that.

“It’s up to them [Red Bull] if they want me or not. But [I’m] mainly focusing on self-control. Other than that, I have pretty good confidence. I’m achieving most of it and I just keep improving.”


Tsunoda noted that in Saudi Arabia, while frustrated and stressed out by Magnussen’s antics inside his car, he managed to keep himself off the airwaves.
“Obviously to continue that is always more difficult,” he said. “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.”

He also observed that applying restraint sometimes required more energy than actually driving his car.

“I didn't know that [not using team radio], 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.”

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