Daniel Ricciardo makes feelings clear on Yuki Tsunoda ‘rivalry’ with top Red Bull prize on offer

Henry Valantine
Daniel Ricciardo smiling as he walks with Yuki Tsunoda.

Daniel Ricciardo smiling as he walks with Yuki Tsunoda.

Daniel Ricciardo has sought to play down any tension between him and Yuki Tsunoda after a team orders issue at the first race of the season in Bahrain.

Tsunoda was angered after being ordered out of Ricciardo’s way in Bahrain, only to not be allowed back past again when the Australian could not pass Kevin Magnussen – leading the young driver to scythe past him on the cooldown lap and drive close to him as a show of frustration.

Daniel Ricciardo plays down Yuki Tsunoda tension: ‘No one’s going to benefit’

Both RB drivers have made their intentions clear of challenging Sergio Perez for a possible drive at Red Bull in the 2025 season, so establishing a lead in the sister team’s in-house battle could prove pivotal this year.

But when asked about that moment in Bahrain and how a rivalry with Tsunoda might play out as the year unfolds, the eight-time Grand Prix winner explained there would be no winners from it, especially as both drivers were able to hash out their problems in the team’s debrief after their near-miss in Sakhir.

“Where I’m at in my career and probably just my age … no one’s going to benefit from us having a rivalry or attention or anything like this from race one of a long season,” Ricciardo told Australian publication The Age.

“Especially when the team has new personnel. Everyone’s trying to pick each other up and build themselves and the confidence, we need to help them do that as well.

“What happened at the end of the race wasn’t great, but two hours later we walked out of a meeting [and] actually put the team in a better place than it was.”

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On his Red Bull chances, while Ricciardo has been keen to downplay talk of challenging for the seat in the early stages of this season, he has spoken openly before about trying to leave Formula 1 as a Red Bull driver again.

Having already spent five seasons with the team where he enjoyed the bulk of his success in the sport, Ricciardo believes it would be the ideal way to bow out of the sport eventually.

“Jumping back in with the Red Bull family, that’s the dream – to end my career as a Red Bull driver would be perfect,” he said last year.

“I’m not looking at the end… but if I did get back there, I’d make sure I finished there.”

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