Daniel Ricciardo assures RB team orders ‘came as no surprise’ after Yuki Tsunoda resistance

Henry Valantine
Daniel Ricciardo in the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo puts in the laps in the RB01.

Daniel Ricciardo has said the team orders issued to Yuki Tsunoda “came as no surprise”, given the way the strategies at RB were placed.

Tsunoda offered a full-throated resistance to having to move aside for his team-mate while stuck behind Kevin Magnussen late in the Bahrain Grand Prix, only doing so after multiple instructions from the pit wall and voicing his anger at the situation afterwards.

Daniel Ricciardo: RB team orders were ‘no surprise’ to Yuki Tsunoda

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

When told to move over for Ricciardo, who was chasing on soft tyres while Tsunoda was on hards at the time, the younger RB driver responded: “Are you kidding me? Now?”

This came as he was following closely behind Magnussen himself, but with Ricciardo on fresher, softer rubber, the team wanted to get the Australian by him if they could.

But when the 34-year-old was unable to find a path past, Tsunoda voiced his discontent over team radio, having had to be told more than once to move aside for his team-mate.

When asked by media including PlanetF1.com if the call came down to tyre strategy, Ricciardo responded: “Yeah, that was really it. We talked about it as well, obviously before the race, we go through strategy and we have a few plans of what strategy we might do.

“But it was highly likely that me starting on the used soft, I was going to finish the race on a new soft and have an attacking last stint, so the call was quite expected.

“Look, I know when you’re in the race, you’re a little bit more emotional and it’s a bit more intense, but this call came as no surprise, and obviously every lap counts when you’re on this tyre and you’re trying to get that little bit of grip out of it, so you need to you need to react to the team call.

“Also, we weren’t in a points position yet, so there’s really nothing to lose, just let me go and see if I can do something about it.

“I would say, being fully transparent from my side, I think the call was already maybe one lap too late and then he’s reacted later than that.

“Obviously when there’s soft tyres like this, every lap is crucial, so I think I already lost probably two and a half good laps of the tyre, and that was maybe the difference.

“Could we have caught Stroll maybe in 10th? No, I think maybe at best we got Zhou [in 11th]. Points were still tricky, but we had to try something.”

PlanetF1.com recommends

F1 Driver of the Day: Who has won the award in F1 2024?

F1 2024: Head-to-head race statistics between team-mates

Another part of Tsunoda’s anger appeared to stem from the fact that Ricciardo did not give him the place back at the finish.

Footage emerged of Tsunoda seemingly lunging up the inside of Ricciardo at Turn 8 on the cooldown lap before running close to him on exit, but Tsunoda himself denied there was any malice or that they got too close at all.

When asked if the team asked him to move back over, Ricciardo said they hadn’t – and over the minor positions, he was nonplussed about the prospect regardless.

“I don’t know if any driver cares about that, but I don’t,” Ricciardo said about moving over for his team-mate in non-points paying positions.

“So if the team said ‘let him back by before the finish line’, I would have done it because it means nothing to me. Unless we’re in the points, who cares?

“Look, it’s race 1 of 24. Yes, there was a little bit of conflict today, but I don’t want that to set the tone.

“I think we’ll talk about it now in the briefing, honestly, and hopefully once he’s calmed down, he can say, ‘Okay, I should have moved a lap earlier.’”

Read next: Bahrain Grand Prix: Verstappen’s title defence off to perfect start as Ferrari rivalry gets spicy