Tsunoda: Off the pace RB ‘missing something massively’


Yuki Tsunoda gave a mixed review of RB’s extensive upgrades in Barcelona, the Japanese driver feeling the new package is working as expected but also “missing something massively”.

RB has rolled out in Spain a practically all-new car. While the major revisions are centered around the VCARB 01’s floor, the comprehensive list of updated components includes a new engine cover, sidepod inlets, rear wing and beam wing as well as circuit specific changes to the front brake cooling duct.

Tsunoda was just P20 in Friday’s opening practice after his session as impacted y a cooling issue, but he then progressed to 16th by the end of the afternoon, one spot ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

“It was trickier than usual,” commented Tsunoda after FP2. “It’s not the pace we wanted, but we have to investigate what we’re missing and hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

“The package seems to be working as expected, but we’re missing something massively because we were way off the pace that we usually have. it’s not easy to fix, so we’ll have to do something for sure.”

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Ricciardo reckoned that a forensic dive into Friday’s data would yield a step forward for the team on Saturday.

“The main upgrade we brought here is the floor, and with these cars, it’s such a big part of development,” he explained.

“There’s still some optimism and once we dive into it tonight, we’ll find how it’s working and better ways to set up the car around it. We still have a bit to do but I hope we can improve for tomorrow.”


RB racing director Alan Permane noted an issue with the VCARB 01’s new rear wing that required some overnight attention, but overall the Briton was satisfied with the numbers he’s seeing from the car’s new package.

“We had an issue with the DRS on our new rear wing and that caused us to run with that closed for the rest of FP1 to be cautious,” he said.

“Of course, that costs a lot of lap time, and you never get the full feeling of the car balance if you don’t run it in the correct conditions.

“For FP2 we made some changes and reverted to an earlier spec of wing while the factory is carrying out a full analysis of the new one.


“We adjusted the setup of both cars to try and calm the rear end down a little bit, but it's fair to say that even in FP2, neither driver was fully happy with the car.

“We’re lacking a little bit of rear end grip and we have work to do overnight to improve the setup and move back up the timesheets to what we feel we can achieve tomorrow.

“We’re happy with the numbers coming from the upgrade, all is working well and no issues there. The focus will be on the mechanical side of the car and improving the suspension setup.”

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