The Miami waterways were transformed into a racetrack with the unexpected scene of Scuderia AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo battling it out aboard mini jet boats. The showdown was the first round of an (Un)Serious Race Series between the two Formula 1 teams.
After a fast start, Yuki was passed by Daniel mid-race but pegged back the Australian’s advantage to cross the line first. The result makes Tsunoda a two-time winner in Miami, following his victory against double F1 world champion Max Verstappen 12-months ago when they raced 700hp V8-powered swamp buggies.
“My first win in Miami was in a swamp buggy and I beat Max. This one was kind of similar, where I got overtaken in the middle of the race and then I overtook back at the end of the race. Two wins in Miami, it’s good,” beamed Yuki. “I am super happy with today’s result. I am really competitive and if I had lost, I would not have had a good sleep tonight, but it seems like I will have a good sleep and be ready for race week.”
Just over six feet long (2.08 meters), boasting 28hp and capable of speeds up to 30mp/h (48km/h), the boats were built in collaboration between Torch Craft Marine and Jetstream Adventure Boats. After being narrowly beaten, Daniel declared the technical specifications suited Tsunoda better.
“When I first saw the mini jet boat, I thought that for once, Yuki can have the last laugh. Normally he’s the one getting a lot of stick about his size. He actually fit pretty good in this, and I looked out of place. It was built for Yuki and that’s about it,” Daniel surmised. “I blame the vehicle, it is always the vehicle, never the person behind the wheel,” the Aussie cheekily added. “With the result there are no losers today, there are lessons learned. There are triumphant tribulations and joys that lie ahead and that is where we’re going to leave it.”
Buoyed by his win in the biggest match race in Miami, Yuki will take extra motivation into the second-ever Miami Grand Prix. “I think this win will help my motivation for this week. I had a good start to race week after my swamp buggy win last year, so it seems like it is a similar race week so far. Now I just need to score points and put it all together.”
The (Un)Serious Race Series will continue ahead of a handful of Grand Prix this season. Scuderia AlphaTauri hold the upper-hand and have put pressure on Oracle Red Bull Racing to take a win in a yet-to-be-announced unserious race vehicle, in a surprising race location.