Yuki Tsunoda drove a great race on his F1 debut, scoring two points after finishing ninth at the end of the Bahrain GP. However, he was not completely happy with his weekend.
The Japanese driver started 13th after a disappointing qualifying. Right after the lights went off, he dropped back to 15th, but his warrior character came out, and he battled until the end, overtaking Kimi Raikkonen and Lance Stroll on his way up to P9.
“I’m glad to get points,” he said afterward. “I lost quite a lot of positions on the first lap. That was my big mistake, and I had to recover from there. I’m happy 50 percent, but still 50 percent it was my big mistake.
“It was possible to go more forward for positions, so first points feel ok, but I think there was a lot of space to improve this race in Imola.”
Even though Tsunoda was not fully pleased after scoring his first points in F1, he was at least happy with his fightback after a difficult start.
“The pace was good,” he said. “Last three laps I was behind Stroll and I got dirty air and struggled to adapt to that dirty air and [made] quite a lot of mistakes. So last lap, first corner, there was still quite a big gap but I sent it. Glad that I passed him and happy for the first point.”
Yuki Tsunoda is the eighth Japanese driver to score points in the pinnacle of motorsport. The last one to do so was Kamui Kobayashi, who also finished ninth at the 2012 Sao Paulo GP.