Formula 1
14 Nov
-
17 Nov
Event finished
28 Nov
-
01 Dec
Event finished
MotoGP
01 Nov
-
03 Nov
Event finished
15 Nov
-
17 Nov
Event finished
NASCAR Cup
08 Nov
-
10 Nov
Event finished
15 Nov
-
17 Nov
Event finished
WEC
08 Nov
-
10 Nov
Event finished
12 Dec
-
14 Dec
FP1 in
4 days
Supercars
08 Nov
-
10 Nov
Event finished
22 Nov
-
24 Nov
Event finished
Formula E
23 Nov
-
23 Nov
Event finished
17 Jan
-
18 Jan
Next event in
40 days

Dandelion boss shoulders blame for Yamamoto defeat

shares
comments
Dandelion boss shoulders blame for Yamamoto defeat
By:
Co-author: Tomohiro Yoshita
Oct 28, 2019, 7:00 AM

The outgoing boss of the Dandelion Racing Super Formula team has taken responsibility for Naoki Yamamoto coming up short of defending his Super Formula crown at Suzuka.

Off the back of his recent Toro Rosso Formula 1 practice run, Yamamoto held a one-point advantage over Nick Cassidy heading into Sunday's bonus-points decider.

But the reigning champion only qualified fifth - while title outsider Alex Palou bagged pole - and elected for what turned out to be the slower strategy of starting on medium tyres.

Read Also:

After stopping early to ditch the mediums for the faster softs, it became clear that Yamamoto was on course for defeat, as Cassidy had been able to vault from sixth to second after making progress on softs and making his pitstop late on.

It meant Cassidy beat Yamamoto to the title by three points, although Dandelion managed to beat TOM'S to the teams' title by two points as a result of Yamamoto's teammate Nirei Fukuzumi picking up his first series podium in third place.

Dandelion boss Kiyoshi Muraoka, who is stepping down from his duties after 30 years at the helm of the team he founded, said in the champions' press conference: "I think it is the team's responsibility that Naoki missed the drivers' title.

"In this race the car wasn't fast enough to get the title. I'm sorry to the drivers that we couldn't give them a fast car."

Naoki Yamamoto, Dandelion Racing

Naoki Yamamoto, Dandelion Racing

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Yamamoto however pinned the blame for his defeat solely on himself, apologising to his engineer Kimitoshi Sugisaki immediately after the race.

"I had the feeling that I didn't have it from the moment I changed to soft tyres," he told Motorsport.com. "At the end it was difficult, the tyres were finished.

"To be honest, today I was completely defeated by Nick. I wasn't really good enough.

"When I got out of the car, I decided to go to Nick first [to congratulate him], but then I saw Sugisaki-san was on the pitwall. I wanted to apologise to him.

"However, he said he was sorry he couldn't make a fast enough car. Muraoka-san was the same, everyone on the team told me the word 'sorry' first.

"It was hard, because I thought I had to apologise to everyone for not being fast enough."

Read Also:

Yamamoto highlighted the fact that his teammate Fukuzumi finished third as evidence of his own shortcomings, although that result would not have been enough to deny Cassidy the title with the New Zealander finishing second.

He continued: "Muraoka-san told me, 'I didn't prepare you a good car'. But it's not true. Fukuzumi was able to run at a good pace, the reason I didn't finish higher was my own inadequacy.

"Now I want to reset a little, raise my motivation and come back here to try and beat Nick and my other rivals."

Yamamoto's Suzuka defeat means he has not succeeded in defending either of the crowns he earned in Japan's two premier series last year, as he and teammate Jenson Button are already out of the running for the SUPER GT title ahead of this weekend's Motegi finale.

Naoki Yamamoto, Dandelion Racing

Naoki Yamamoto, Dandelion Racing

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

Next article
Palou perplexed by first-to-last drop in Suzuka decider

Previous article

Palou perplexed by first-to-last drop in Suzuka decider

Next article

Vips laments "stupid" stall on Super Formula debut

Vips laments "stupid" stall on Super Formula debut
Load comments

About this article

Series Super Formula
Event Suzuka II
Drivers Naoki Yamamoto
Teams Dandelion Racing
Author Jamie Klein