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Tsunoda admits he needs to control his emotions to be considered for Red Bull promotion after Ricciardo spat

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JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 06: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Visa Cash App RB attends the Drivers

Yuki Tsunoda has acknowledged that he needs to improve when it comes to controlling his emotions in the car should he wish to be considered by Red Bull for a future spot in the team, having lost his cool with RB team mate Daniel Ricciardo in the latter stages of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Tsunoda had been battling with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen for P12 on Lap 52 of 57 when the team asked him to allow Ricciardo through, in order to give the Australian the chance to try to overtake Magnussen.

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Despite letting Ricciardo pass after making his feelings about the swap clear, Tsunoda then appeared to dive-bomb his team mate on the cooldown lap following the chequered flag, before coming back on track and narrowly avoiding contact with Ricciardo, leading to the 34-year-old using some expletives on team radio.

Following the race, Ricciardo suggested that there had been some “immaturity” in the spat and suggested that the team would have a meeting to discuss the matter.

With a few days having passed since, Tsunoda was asked ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix for his take on the incident.

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“We talked about it after the race with the whole team,” said the Japanese driver. “We’re still unified. We’re on the same page now, we understand each other. I think that’s it really.”

On whether his reaction reflected his frustrations over the use of team orders, Tsunoda responded: “In that moment, yes. But in the end I understand what they’re saying and I think that’s it. It was not an easy race in the end, so I think that’s it.”

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Elaborating on what happened further and why RB felt the need to impose a swap in the battle for a non-points-paying position, Tsunoda said that he could now understand why the squad felt that the switch would be beneficial.

“I think we were on a different strategy as Daniel,” he explained. “He had newer tyres, he had [the] soft tyre. I was fighting with Kevin, obviously he had more free air and he had more pace. I think probably [the] team thought Daniel had more pace and chance to overtake Kevin, so they asked me to swap the position. I think that’s it.

"I was in the moment a bit heated, I was quite getting heated moments in my brain, but I still in the end let him through, probably a lap later or half a lap later. In the end the team thought they had more chance, and I respect that.”

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 on

Tsunoda ended the Bahrain Grand Prix in 14th place

With a position at Red Bull potentially available in 2025, should Sergio Perez fail to earn a contract extension beyond the end of the current campaign, there has previously been talk of both Ricciardo and Tsunoda wanting to put their names in contention for that spot.

As such, Tsunoda feels that he needs to work on his emotional control if he hopes to be signed by the sister squad.

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“Definitely it’s a thing I have to improve, for sure,” said the 23-year-old. “If I do those things again for sure there will be more issues. I know these are things I have to improve mainly, so I’m working on it, and I’ll sure improve. [I] need more than two steps, not just one step for example.

“I have confidence that I can improve that, and it’s up to them if they want me or not for the rest of the things. [I’m] mainly focusing on those, self control, but other than that I have pretty good confidence that I’m achieving most of it and I just keep improving.”

On whether things will go more smoothly should team orders be deployed by RB again in Jeddah, Tsunoda answered: “Yeah, hope so.”

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