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Tsunoda: Not ranting on radio harder than G-force driving an F1 car

RB’s Yuki Tsunoda reckons ‘holding on to his stress’ by not ranting over team radio takes more energy out of him than the G-force endured when driving a Formula 1 car.

Now contesting his fourth top-flight season, Tsunoda has gained a reputation for airing his emotions in public via punchy, sometimes expletive-filled team radio messages.

He opened up about “getting heating moments in my brain” in response to a pitwall call to fall behind team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, which he initially refused, in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last month.

But the Japanese racer acknowledged this is an area “I have to improve, for sure… mainly focusing on those self-controllers” as he attempts to put himself in contention to replace Sergio Perez at Red Bull from next year.

This was put to the test in the following Saudi Arabia race, during which Haas racer Kevin Magnussen was found to have illegally overtaken Tsunoda off the track before then holding up the RB driver to help team-mate Nico Hulkenberg bank a point in 10th.

Tsunoda reckoned this situation was a good test of his resolve, saying: “I’m very pleased how I handled [it].

“I would say if it's normal for me [to] press the radio and something I would say like usual me.

“But at the same time, I want to change myself. So, I'm pleased that I'm able to prove that a little bit, that first step.”

Yuki Tsunoda, RB F1 Team

Yuki Tsunoda, RB F1 Team

Photo by: Red Bull Content Pool

Tsunoda added that while he kept off the team radio, he was still stressed out.

“Obviously to continue that is always more difficult, but that's what I aim for and that's what I have to do,” he added. “But it wasn't easy, obviously, even in my helmet, I was chewing my tongue like hell.”

Given the restraint required, Tsunoda said that staying off team radio required more energy than expected - even more than what it takes to race an F1 car.

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He continued: “I didn't know that [not using team radio], actually, this would take a lot of energy. More than I use for the neck or G-force, to hold on my stress.

“I'm sure it will take more time to kind of get used to it. But at least for the first time, probably I achieved this and I'm sure I can continue this as well.”

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