Daniel Ricciardo details Yuki Tsunoda row after calling RB teammate ‘f***ing helmet’

Team orders at RB didn't go down well with Yuki Tsunoda in the 2024 Bahrain GP

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Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he will wait to speak to Yuki Tsunoda before the Visa CashApp RB pair attempt to clear the air after a tense exchange during the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Both RBs were stuck in the midfield looking to make a late challenge for a world championship point, with Kevin Magnussen, Zhou Guanyu and Lance Stroll all on older tyres and not far ahead.

Ricciardo had pitted on Lap 35 for a set of fresh rubber, putting on the soft tyres to hunt down those ahead of him. However, he needed Tsunoda to step aside before he could target the other three drivers as the Japanese – who started 11th – was in front of him in 13th place.

Team orders soon took priority and the team radioed in to Tsunoda telling him to let Ricciardo past, telling the driver: “Yuki, driver swap. Driver swap.” But the 23-year-old, clearly sounding unamused, issued an angry reply to his race engineer: “Are you kidding me? Now?”

Several laps after receiving the call, Tsunoda moved aside but not before Ricciardo had uttered his disapproval at his antics: “Yeah, I don’t need to say anything,” Ricciardo said. It wasn’t long before Tsunoda then complained the 34-year-old needed to “speed up more” and was “not fast at all”, suggesting he wanted to reclaim his place.

Tsunoda made his frustration known on the cooldown lap, with onboard footage appearing to show the driver diving down the inside of the corner right next to Ricciardo, before he then locked up and accelerated past the Australian again to make the message crystal clear.

The two drivers were only a matter of inches away from a disastrous collision, and a flabbergasted Riccardo then radioed in to say: “What the f***? I’ll save it… he’s a f***ing helmet.”

Tension in the garage

With both drivers wanting to make the step up to Red Bull in 2025, there has been rumoured tension between them and Ricciardo admitted there was some ‘conflict’ in the race.

However, he revealed his grievance with Tsunoda’s conduct was related to what happened during the race, insisting that he should have moved aside earlier as they were on different tyre strategies.

Yuki Tsunoda of Visa Cash App RB in the Pitlane during qualifying for 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

“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 as came in no surprise,” Ricciardo told reporters. “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 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.”

When asked if he had spoken to his team-mate, the eight-time race winner commented: “No, no, I’ll let him I’ll let him cool down. We know what he’s like, obviously during the moment… that’s Yuki, but I think once we get back to the room and that he’ll be completely fine.”

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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