Yuki Tsunoda makes critical admission after ‘heated’ Daniel Ricciardo moment

Oliver Harden
RB driver Yuki Tsunoda fields questions in the press conference ahead of the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix

RB driver Yuki Tsunoda.

Yuki Tsunoda has admitted he got “a bit heated” during his team orders row with Daniel Ricciardo at the Bahrain Grand Prix, claiming the RB team-mates are “on the same page now” after RB talks.

The RB drivers found themselves at the centre of a team orders storm in the closing laps of the F1 2024 season opener, with Tsunoda instructed to swap places with Ricciardo as the pair pursued the 12th-placed Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

Yuki Tsunoda addresses Daniel Ricciardo relationship after Bahrain

Despite eventually ceding to the demand, Tsunoda was heard voicing his displeasure with the request over team radio with the Japanese driver crossing the line behind Ricciardo in 14th place.

After the race came an extraordinary series of events on the cooldown lap, when Tsunoda almost made contact with Ricciardo, who was heard describing his team-mate as a “f**king helmet” over team radio.

Speaking in the FIA press conference ahead of this weekend’s Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Tsunoda has insisted his relationship with Ricciardo is “still unified” after clear-the-air talks.

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He said: “We talked about it after the race with the team. We’re still unified and we’re on the same page now. We understand each other.”

Asked if he was frustrated by the team orders request, he said: “At that moment, yes.

“But I understand what they’re saying. Obviously it was not an easy race in the end.

“In the moment, I was a bit heated. I was getting quite heating 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 [of scoring points with Daniel] and I respect that.”

Asked it would be easier to handle team orders if they were implemented once again in Jeddah this weekend, Tsunoda said: “Yeah, 100 per cent.”

Tsunoda’s comments come after Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko revealed he was involved in the clear-the-air-talks, admitting the team orders row was unnecessary.

Marko also expressed sympathy for Tsunoda, claiming the Japanese driver could have score the final point for 10th if his strategy had been better.

He told Austrian publication OE24: “The theatre could have been avoided.

“I spoke to Yuki afterwards. With the right strategy, he could have finished 10th.”

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