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Iwasa's F1 Debut Ignites Suzuka with Ricciardo Out

Iwasa’s F1 Debut Ignites Suzuka with Ricciardo Out

05/04/2024

Ayumu Iwasa made his debut, replacing Daniel Ricciardo for FP1 in Suzuka, showcasing promising potential.

Ayumu Iwasa made his Formula 1 race weekend debut. Indeed, the Japanese driver was substituting for Daniel Ricciardo during the FP1 session at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka, experiencing the track at the helm of the world’s fastest cars.

“I have driven at Suzuka numerous times, but it’s a completely different, astonishing, and special feeling doing so in an F1 car,” Iwasa stated. “There’s much more capability to push, and the car’s limit is significantly higher. I gained valuable experience for the future and appreciate this opportunity.”

“I am deeply thankful to Red Bull, Honda, and everyone at VCARB for making me feel welcome from the moment I entered the hospitality. There were no issues today, and I had a good feeling with the car right away, allowing me to increase the pace faster than expected, which is positive.”

“Furthermore, I believe I made good progress with the team throughout the session. The primary goal was to gather as much data as possible for the team, so I had to avoid pushing too hard because it was important to complete many laps.”

“I hope they gathered good data for the weekend. Ultimately, my second set of tires was aimed at increasing the pace and experiencing the feel of driving an F1 car on the Suzuka circuit.”

“I think we achieved all our goals, and for the rest of the weekend, I’ll try to gain more experience within the team. Today’s race has given me additional motivation to continue working hard.”

Insufficient running to gauge the team’s position

Yuki Tsunoda was delighted to meet his fans, even though the second session allowed for little running due to rain: “It’s great to return to Suzuka in front of the Japanese crowd; I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt good. The first day was positive for us.”

“I believe we had a good start during the first free practice session, finishing in the top 10, which shows that the pace is there. The improved floor is aimed at low-speed corners, whereas here, it’s more about medium and high-speed turns, so our expectations weren’t high.”

“Together, we will refine a few areas where it’s possible to make progress before the third qualifying day, then we’ll focus on extracting performance. It was very special, and it’s only Friday, so I’m looking forward to giving it my all and fighting to reach our maximum!”

Daniel Ricciardo only participated in FP2 and couldn’t really benefit from it: “I waited while Ayumu did his first FP1. Positioned on the pit wall during the first session, I went through a lot of data by watching the onboard cameras and listening to the drivers’ feedback, which was very productive.”

“Then, during FP2, when I got in the car, I was a bit frustrated to do only a few laps due to track conditions. The weather was average, meaning the track wasn’t good enough for intermediate tires, nor for a dry run.”

“Looking at the morning, Yuki seemed to pick up speed quickly and was in the top 10 for almost the entire session. We felt like we were at the front of the pack. You never know what happens in qualifying, but we feel we are where we wanted to be.”

Iwasa's F1 Debut Ignites Suzuka with Ricciardo Out

Iwasa’s F1 Debut Ignites Suzuka with Ricciardo Out. Iwasa’s F1 Debut Ignites Suzuka with Ricciardo Out

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