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Tsunoda: VCARB are now faster than Aston Martin

Yuki Tsunoda believes that VCARB have made the necessary progress to fight with Aston Martin in the F1 standings.

In some ways, VCARB is discovering the form that many F1 observers expected during pre-season. Considering their rapid progress in the second half of last season, fuelled by their strengthened technical ties with Red Bull, expectations were high for Faenza heading into 2024.

At least initially, the team’s pace was relatively underwhelming. The VCARB 01 lacked the performance to score points on merit – relying instead on retirements from the top five. However, the situation has gradually improved for the men and women in Faenza.

Yuki Tsunoda now has five points finishes, accompanied by six Q3 appearances. He is consistently fighting for the top 10 positions, a task made easier by the regression taking place at Aston Martin. The Silverstone-based team are experiencing an alarming dip in form, weakening the grip that the top teams previously had on the points.

Despite introducing a series of updates, Mike Krack’s personnel are sliding down the order. This is good news for midfield teams.

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As VCARB introduce steady but effective updates, Tsunoda believes his team is now ahead of the British squad:

“Yes, we are a little ahead if you look at the last races and the results,” quotes him as saying.

“I think we are separating the top five teams from the bottom four. I would say we are in a kind of individual league. So I think we are in good shape, we have a good rhythm, and we are going to continue pushing.

“I think we have a lot of development ahead of us in the next few races. So I hope that the improvements and updates will give us a little extra pace, and maybe we can catch up with Aston Martin definitively.”

Writing off Aston Martin, at this stage, would be premature. Their speed in the last three rounds, whilst disappointing, was compounded by a series of unforced errors from Fernando Alonso. Whilst they are nowhere near the front, their descent is not confirmed.

That said, the steady progress at Faenza cannot be overlooked. There is no reason why Tsunoda cannot continue driving at this level. Moreover, if Ricciardo can pick up his form, Aston Martin will definitely have a headache from an unexpected rival.


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