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“It Has Been a While Since I Used My Brain”: Yuki Tsunoda Flexes How He Bamboozled Lance Stroll in Japan

Sabyasachi Biswas

“It Has Been a While Since I Used My Brain”: Yuki Tsunoda Flexes How He Bamboozled Lance Stroll in Japan

Yuki Tsunoda and Lance Stroll were direct competitors for the final points spot at the 2024 Japanese GP. Stroll, despite qualifying in P16, eyed P10 to do justice to his upgraded Aston Martin car. Tsunoda, however, had other ideas, as he prevented the Canadian’s charge with some spectacular moves of his own.

Stroll was visibly frustrated during the race in Suzuka, owing to his inability to pass the Japanese driver. After several failed attempts, he told his team it wasn’t “possible” to overtake Tsunoda. Adding to his woes, Stroll struggled on the straights. His car, which was supposedly upgraded, struggled to keep up with others in terms of straight-line speed, limiting him to a P12 finish.

Reacting to Stroll’s disappointment, Tsunoda said after the race, “It was important to let him use his tires, so in sector 1 he wouldn’t be overtaken. So I drove slower to let him get closer, and then in sector 3, I pulled away because the tires were cold and had more grip. It has been a while since I used my brain.”

Tsunoda’s explanation was simple and straightforward. But to his credit, this was him downplaying his abilities. Tsunoda has been in the form of his life since the season started and is single-handedly keeping V-CARB in contention for a midfield battle.

His P7 finish in Melbourne and P10 finish in Japan also impressed Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko. To Marko, 2024 has been Tsunoda’s best year in F1 so far, where he has also established himself as the team’s leader over a much more experienced Daniel Ricciardo.

Yuki Tsunoda’s best-ever season in F1

Tsunoda entered 2024 under a lot of pressure. Daniel Ricciardo’s presence at V-CARB and Liam Lawson looming in the shadows, made competition for a 2025 seat more feisty. Thankfully for him, he has managed to deliver under pressure and appears to be the most in-form driver in the team as of today.

At Red Bull, Sergio Perez’s future with the team is still not guaranteed. The Milton-Keynes-based outfit has multiple suitors ready to replace the Mexican driver in case he is removed, and Tsunoda is one of the favorites.

If Perez keeps performing as well as he is now, he may end up signing an extension. In that case, Tsunoda won’t get a shot at driving the most dominant car on the grid. Regardless, his F1 future (with V-CARB) or any other team, seems to be secure, because of his incredible performances for the Faenza-based outfit. Ricciardo, meanwhile, could make way for the young and talented Liam Lawson.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Sabyasachi Biswas

Sabyasachi Biswas


Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush. With over one and a half decades of love for the sport and five years of experience in the field, he dreams to be a regular at the paddock when the lights go out. A Red Bull fan and F1 fan in general over the years, he enjoyed watching Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, and Max Verstappen dominate the track. Apart from F1, he's also a big-time Madridista and Federer fanatic. He was a sub-junior level footballer, won inter-district quizzes and debate competitions back in school. A travel freak throughout, he tries different cuisines and learns new cultures whenever he's away from the keyboard.

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