Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global

Makino can’t hide frustration as first victory eludes him

Tadasuke Makino has described his second-place finish to Liam Lawson at Fuji as “extremely frustrating” as the chance of a first Super Formula win slipped his grasp.

Tadasuke Makino, DOCOMO TEAM DANDELION RACING

Dandelion Racing driver Makino scored his first pole position since his 2019 debut in the Japanese single-seater series on Saturday as he beat Red Bull junior Lawson to the top spot in qualifying.

But come race day, it was Lawson who had the superior pace, jumping ahead of Makino during the mandatory pitstop phase and pulling away for his third win of 2023.

Read Also:

Makino called the race “the most frustrating” of his career in a post-race TV interview as he struggled to conceal the disappointment of defeat, despite scoring a career-best second.

Subsequently, the ex-Formula 2 driver said he regretted waiting until lap 12 to make his pitstop, the lap after Lawson came in, leaving himself exposed to being passed by the Mugen driver while warming his tyres on his out lap.

“It was an extremely frustrating race,” reflected Makino.” The pitstops were what decided the result. Looking at it from Liam’s point of view, we knew he would be looking out for [championship leader] Ritomo [Miyata]. 

“We imagined that Liam would come in the lap after Ritomo, and we considered coming in at that point [on lap 11]. That was the turning point of the race. 

“Finally we chose to stay out and we came in the lap after that. But Liam’s out lap was faster than my ‘push’ [in] lap.”

 

Once he had been passed by Lawson, Makino didn’t have the race pace to mount a counter attack, and ultimately fell short of a first win by 4.4 seconds at the chequered flag.

“I lost in a straight fight [to Lawson] but also looking more generally there were things that we didn’t do well enough,” he said. “Liam’s pace was really good and my pace wasn't good enough.

“You can say what you like after the fact, but I feel like we could have done more. In the morning, we did a lot of laps on old tyres and the pace was good. We improved from the test, so I think there was a chance. But we were missing a couple of tenths.”

Makino was nonetheless encouraged by Dandelion’s best showing as a team of the season, with rookie team-mate Kakunoshin Ota also scoring his first points of the year in sixth place having qualified an impressive third.

“The biggest point was that the conditions were quite similar to the in-season test [at Fuji], and that worked well for the Dandelion car,” said Makino. “I tried to adjust the car to suit high temperatures, but temperatures were a bit lower than we expected. 

“Overall there were a lot of positive things, especially the big step from Q1 to Q2. Also the race pace was good compared to previous races. 

“I think it’s going to make the last three races more interesting, especially Motegi. Last year we were quite strong on race pace at Motegi and we scored a podium, so I really want to get my first win there.”

 

Be part of Motorsport community

Join the conversation

Related video

Previous article Lawson “wasn’t confident at all” about Fuji victory chances
Next article Is it game over for Nojiri’s Super Formula ‘three-peat’ hopes?

Top Comments

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Motorsport prime

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Edition

Global Global