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Yuki Tsunoda

Tsunoda focused on being RB's 'stable guy'

Yuki Tsunoda has worked on controlling his aggressiveness over the team radio and is keen on being a leader for RB.

Tsunoda Saudi Arabia
To news overview © XPBimages

Yuki Tsunoda has conceded to chewing his tongue during the recent Saudi Arabian Grand Prix in a bid to curb his fiery radio messages and become a "stable guy" for RB.

The Japanese driver, who has so far out-performed team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, was in contention for a point in Jeddah, only for Kevin Magnussen to cut the circuit ahead of him and gain an advantage.

Magnussen received a 10-second time penalty for the infringement before strategically slowing the train of cars behind him – including Tsunoda – to allow Haas team-mate Nico Hulkenberg to clinch 10th.

In recent years, Tsunoda would have lashed out over the team radio, but as part of his personal development, he remained calm under testing circumstances.

"Very, very pleased with how I handled the previous race," said Tsunoda, speaking to select media including RacingNews365. "I will say if it's normal me, for sure I would have pressed the radio and said something like usual me.

"What I said in every press conference in Saudi is that I want to change myself, and I'm sure you guys will see how I changed from that race onwards.

"I am pleased that I have been able to prove that a little bit. The first step, obviously, to do that is always more difficult, but that's what I have to do. It wasn't easy, even in the helmet I was chewing my tongue."

'Time to adapt'

Considering the hype surrounding RB ahead of the 2024 season, they have made a lacklustre start following their rebrand from AlphaTauri. Although Tsunoda has performed better than Ricciardo, the team is without a point.

Ahead of this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, Tsunoda feels the Red Bull sister team needs more time to settle following a plethora of senior leadership changes but feels he can be relied upon to guide it forward.

"I just want to be someone hopefully the team can rely on," Tsunoda admitted.

"I want to be a stable guy, to help [the team] face [in the right] direction on the development side, to help them to think in the right way based on my experience in the last three years with this team.

"Most of the people are the same mechanics for example. Engineers don't change that much, obviously, the top guys change a lot. I think those parts definitely still need a bit of time to adapt at the same time."

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