Further Yuki Tsunoda frustration as post-Saudi Arabian Grand Prix penalty issued

Jamie Woodhouse
RB driver Yuki Tsunoda fields questions in the press conference ahead of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

RB driver Yuki Tsunoda.

Yuki Tsunoda’s frustrating start to the F1 2024 campaign continues after he picked up a Saudi Arabian GP penalty for an unsafe release into the path of Lando Norris, which the stewards deemed to be his fault.

Tsunoda headed into the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix knowing a calmer race weekend was needed after the team orders fallout involving RB team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in Bahrain, but while Tsunoda kept it clean on the track, once more there will be a feeling of irritation after picking up a penalty in Jeddah.

Yuki Tsunoda receives five-second time penalty

Before the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix had even gotten underway, Tsunoda had caught the attention of the stewards for a potential unsafe release from his RB garage as he headed out for his pre-race reconnaissance lap.

The stewards determined that Tsunoda’s emergence had forced Norris to take evasive action in the McLaren, with the decision made to add five seconds to Tsunoda’s race time.

Tsunoda at least received some form of reprieve as the stewards refrained from issuing the one superlicence penalty point which is usually incurred by this type of incident.

“The stewards reviewed video, team radio and in-car video evidence and heard from the drivers and team representatives of Car 22 and Car 4 and determined that Car 22 was released unsafely from the garage during the reconnaissance lap into the path of Car 4 which had to take evasive action to avoid a collision,” their report began.

“The driver of Car 22 admitted that he did not see the Number 1 in his team signalling not to come out as his attention was diverted towards exiting the car from the garage. He apologised for his oversight.

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“An unsafe release during the race (which would include the reconnaissance lap) would typically attract a five-second time penalty, which is what we imposed. In addition, for an infringement of this nature, it would be appropriate to award one penalty point.

“Given that this took place during the reconnaissance lap as opposed to the race proper, we decided to not impose the penalty point.”

It was already an underwhelming outing for RB, with Tsunoda’s penalty now dropping him a position to P15 as he falls behind Williams’ Logan Sargeant, while team-mate Daniel Ricciardo managed only P16, his difficult evening capped off by a late spin coming out of Turn 1.

RB remain in search of their first point of the F1 2024 campaign.

Read next – Saudi Arabian GP: Another race, another Max Verstappen win, another Red Bull 1-2