Yuki Tsunoda #22
Race: Pos. 8th

“Finally, a top ten finish, the team definitely deserves it, and I’m very happy! We were very consistent throughout this weekend and the car felt good straight away, so we just had to put it all together and have a clean race to score points in this tight midfield, and we were able to achieve that today. We didn’t make any mistakes and it’s important for the team and me to have that confidence going into the next races. To have a clean race sounds easy, but the last two races have been frustrating for us, so finishing P8 today, after a productive restructuring, was definitely deserved. The team did a fantastic job, and I can see the team is significantly improving every race. The difference in the car between the same time in Melbourne last year and this year is impressive. The amount of work we put into that car was massive and the work definitely paid off. To be honest, the race wasn’t so easy because other teams actually picked up their pace quite a bit, but I’m very happy we were able to maximise our performance and opportunity, and glad to hear that George is okay in the end. The whole weekend is a great way to go into Japan, especially with this result under the belt, and at least, I’m able to give some hope to the Japanese fans. I haven’t scored any F1 points at my home Grand Prix, but the car looks good, so let’s try again this year. I’ve been resetting myself every week and our car has been very consistent which is different compared to last year, so that’s a strength. For myself, I just learn from previous races and focus on what I can do better to help the team. Now it’s time for us to analyse, reset and push again in Japan!”

Daniel Ricciardo #3
Race: Pos. 12th

“After last night, I let go of the frustration and put it aside coming into the race. I tried to get the most out of today and there were some good stints in there. A lot of drivers pitted early like me, but starting from the back of the grid, we had to try something. I think in the first stint on the hard compound I lost a little bit of time as the graining came up pretty soon with the VSC, but the second one was definitely more competitive. I was able to drive on a low 1:21 as a lap time before we got some blue flags, so there were certainly some good and encouraging moments throughout the race. Nevertheless, I think we’re still missing some things as sometimes I feel like and I’m not carrying enough speed in some corners. During the race, I marked some points that are good for gathering data and will help us continue understanding our car. Obviously, I would have loved to have a better weekend and start to the season, especially after the preparation I had coming into it. However, there’s no panic, we continue keeping our eyes on the prize and working together. I feel like the car itself has not really changed from last year, it’s an update but the characteristics are very similar. There’s some confidence in that and I don’t think we have to change everything, so we’ll find something in one of the next weekends to continue the positive performance trend.”

Jody Egginton (Technical Director)

“After some frustrations in the first two GP’s, where we showed some positive signs but did not manage to put it all together, it’s very satisfying to have delivered a solid event here at Albert Park, with all of the hard work trackside, in Bicester and Faenza being rewarded with points today. Yuki has been strong all weekend here, finishing the job off with a very mature and confident drive in the race, which is very satisfying to see and something I am sure he is very happy about! Daniel’s weekend has been less straightforward, but credit to him. He has got his head down and worked very hard together with his engineers to get the car more towards his liking. Although the result does not show it, there are some good signs of progress, which I expect we can start to capitalise on in the next events, with the target of getting him into the fight at the sharp end of the mid-field battle as soon as possible. Looking at the first three events, overall, I feel we are building a solid
understanding of our car and are looking forward to the next phase of the season. However, with the midfield being very tight, we will be focused on making each update count and executing weekends like this one to build on this solid result.”

Laurent Mekies (Team Principal)

“It’s a very positive result for us today. Yuki executed a fast and well-controlled race to top the whole midfield group and got us our first points of the season. He did not put a foot wrong all weekend, and with calm and determination got faster session after session. Daniel’s pace was also strong, and we can only regret that we had to start from the back. He fought his way back to P12, and there were certainly points available today for him as well, had he started from a better position. The team performed very well all weekend and it was only by getting a near-perfect weekend that we could score points here, given how tight the mid-field is. So, a big well done to everyone in Faenza, in Bicester, and at Honda. We go to Japan with some good encouragement from the Australian round here, and we are very conscious of how hard we will need to push there to get again a very tiny edge onto the midfield.”

Session Result

1Carlos SainzFerrari1:20:26.843
2Charles LeclercFerrari+2.366s
3Lando NorrisMcLaren+5.904s
4Oscar PiastriMcLaren+35.770s
5Sergio PerezOracle Red Bull Racing+56.309s
6Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco+93.222s
7Yuki TsunodaVisa Cash App RB+95.601s
8Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco+100.992s
9Nico HulkenbergHaas+104.553s
10Kevin MagnussenHaas+1 laps
11Alexander AlbonWilliams+1 laps
12Daniel RicciardoVisa Cash App RB+1 laps
13Pierre GaslyAlpine+1 laps
14Valtteri BottasKick Sauber+1 laps
15Guanyu ZhouKick Sauber+1 laps
16Esteban OconAlpine+1 laps
17George RussellMercedes+2 laps
DNFLewis HamiltonMercedes-
DNFMax VerstappenOracle Red Bull Racing-