Tsunoda Receives Huge Boost From Helmut Marko: 'Absolutely Mature Driver'

Monday, 25 March 2024 at 18:00
tsunoda yuki rb rbcp7
Red Bull Racing advisor Helmut Marko acknowledged the incredible performance of Yuki Tsunoda after the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
The Japanese RB F1 driver had a solid start to the weekend during the qualifying session on Saturday. Not only did he outperform his own teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, but he also knocked Lewis Hamilton out of Q2 and made it into Q3, where he secured a start from P8.
As it stands, the top five teams in the Championship are much stronger in qualifying and in the race than the bottom five.
RB is one of the teams from the bottom five, so a P8 starting position was the very strong first step toward points for Tsunoda. The 23-year-old put himself in a prime position to score points under the right circumstances.
In total, two drivers from the top five teams retired from the race. This meant that two spots in the top ten were up for grabs for some of the drivers from the bottom five teams in the Championship.
Tsunoda lost two positions to Aston Martin drivers who started from behind him, but two drivers in front of him retired, which meant he was still in P8.
The Japanese driver maintained his position throughout the race and even resisted the pressure from Nico Hulkenberg behind towards the end, so ultimately, he crossed the finish line in P8.
Moreover, he was close enough to Fernando Alonso to profit from the penalty that the Spaniard received after the race, which meant that the RB driver moved up even one position higher in the final race result. Marko said after the race:

"Yuki ran perfectly from the first lap on Friday and set very consistent and good times in today's race. When Nico [Hulkenberg] attacked [in the later stages of the race], he immediately countered."

In the end, Tsunoda collected six precious points for his team, moving it up into P6 in the Constructors' Championship. Marko added, "I think we have confirmed that Yuki is an absolutely mature driver."