‘A bit of immaturity’ – Ricciardo vents after post-chequered flag squabble with team mate Tsunoda in Bahrain


A late-race position swap between RB drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo led to tensions boiling over after the chequered flag at the Bahrain Grand Prix – with the pair nearly making contact on the cool-down lap.

On Lap 52 of 57, Tsunoda was battling with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen for P12 when the call came from RB to allow Ricciardo – on new soft tyres compared to Tsunoda’s hard tyres – to pass and try to attack Magnussen.

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After asking initially if the team were “kidding”, Tsunoda then moved aside, with Ricciardo also failing to pass the Haas before coming home ahead of Tsunoda in P13.

However, post-chequered flag, a frustrated Tsunoda appeared to dive-bomb his team mate into Turn 8, before coming back on track and nearly swiping the sister RB of Ricciardo – who was straight on team radio to engineer Pierre Hamelin saying: “F***, what the f***? I’ll save it. He’s a f***ing helmet.”

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Asked later on F1 TV’s Post-Race Show what he had made of the incident, Ricciardo replied: “I don’t know. I came on the radio and was trying to stay cool. A bit of immaturity? I’m being very sensible right now, but let’s call it immaturity.

“[Yuki’s] obviously frustrated with the team orders call, but let’s be real, this is something we talk about before the race. It was very likely I was going to use the soft at the end of the race, so he knew that there was a chance that I would have a pace advantage at the end, and if he gets a call, it’s going to happen.

“He’s also not giving me points, we’re fighting for 13th, so at least give us the best chance to get at least one car in the points.”

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With Tsunoda having initially held position for a lap when asked to swap places before ultimately moving aside for Ricciardo – Tsunoda adding a sarcastic “thanks guys, I appreciate it” afterwards – Ricciardo was then asked if he thought he would have had a better chance of passing Magnussen if his team mate had moved aside earlier.

“I think we had a better chance, for sure,” replied Ricciardo. “Because also with the soft [tyre]… lap by lap it slowly gets away from you, so you need to use it when you can. The more traffic you’re in, the more it starts to drop away. Every lap counts.

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“Ultimately, I don’t think we were good enough for points today. We maybe could have got Kevin and then maybe got closer to Zhou [Guanyu], but it didn’t change much. It is what it is. It’s a long year, we need to make sure we’re all good, so we’ll go back, have a meeting, be very mature about it then look forward to Jeddah.”

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Meanwhile, asked for his perspective on the situation after the race, Tsunoda said: “I don’t even want to talk about it to be honest.

“We were fighting outside of the points anyway, P13/14, and I was just overtaking Magnussen, I was side by side, and then we swapped the cars in the last few laps. To be honest, I can’t understand. We have to review… In the end, [Daniel] didn’t overtake as well so… whatever.”



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