‘Sensible’ Daniel Ricciardo responds to Yuki Tsunoda’s ‘immature’ cooldown lap antics

Michelle Foster
Daniel Ricciardo during pre-season testing.

RB's Daniel Ricciardo.

As tensions boiled over at RB in Bahrain, Daniel Ricciardo says Yuki Tsunoda’s post-race lunge, and near collision, was a sign of “immaturity” but he’ll talk it out with his team-mate.

Running 13th and 14th at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix with Ricciardo behind Tsunoda but on the soft tyres with his team-mate on the hard Pirellis, RB ordered Tsunoda to let Ricciardo through.

Team orders and tension at VCARB

He baulked at the “driver swap” order, saying: “Are you kidding me?”

It wasn’t until a lap later that Tsunoda let Ricciardo through, sarcastically telling the team: “Yeah, thanks guys, I appreciate it.”

But as his temper continued to bubble, the Japanese driver let Ricciardo know his feelings on the cooldown lap as he accelerated past the Aussie down to the Turn 8 hairpin.

Locking up and going wide, he cut around the outside of Ricciardo and almost collided with his team-mate.

Ricciardo, it’s safe to say, wasn’t impressed with Tsunoda’s antics: “What the f**k! I’ll save it… he’s a f***ing helmet!”

Asked about the incident after the Grand Prix, the Honey Badger told F1TV: “I don’t know. I came on the radio and was trying to stay cool. A bit of immaturity, let’s say.

“I’m being very sensible right out but let’s call it immaturity.

“I think he was obviously frustrated with the team orders but let’s be real, this is something we talked about before the race, you know.

“It was very likely I was going to use a 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, then it’s going to happen.

“It’s also not like he’s not giving me points, we’re fighting for P13 so at least give us the best chance to get at least one car in the points.”

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Daniel Ricciardo denies it cost RB a point

Although he wasn’t happy with his team-mate’s slow response to the team order, Ricciardo has denied it cost the team a point at the Sakhir circuit.

He says maybe he could’ve overtaken Kevin Magnusssen for 12th, but that’s about as high up the order he could’ve climbed.

“I think we had a better chance for sure,” he said when asked if he could’ve passed the Haas had Tsunoda moved over immediately.

“With the softs, lap by lap it slowly gets away from you so you need to use it when you can, and the more traffic you’re in the more it starts to drop away. So every lap counts.

“Ultimately, I don’t think we were good enough for points. We’ve maybe could have gotten Kevin and then maybe got closer to Zhou but it didn’t change much. So it is what it is.

“I think it’s a long year. We need to make sure that we’re all good. So we’ll go back, have a meeting. Be very mature about it and look forward to Jeddah.”

Read next: Yuki Tsunoda sets record straight after cooldown lap footage involving Ricciardo emerges