Daniel Ricciardo lifts lid on Yuki Tsunoda showdown RB talks

Ricciardo to hit out at Tsunoda on the team radio in Bahrain, calling him a "f***ing helmet"

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Daniel Ricciardo has revealed he met with his Visa CashApp RB team-mate Yuki Tsunoda to hold showdown talks after their post-race fallout at the Formula 1 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Australian finished 13th in the opening race of the season and his first back on the grid after earning a permanent contract, having replaced Nyck de Vries for the latter stages of 2023.

But he only finished ahead of Tsunoda after the Japanese received team orders from the pit wall to allow him through, with the 23-year-old begrudgingly moving aside for Ricciardo to try and overtake Kevin Magnussen. And from there, their friendly rivalry took a dark turn.

After failing to pass the Haas driver, Ricciardo kept the position – much to Tsunoda’s ire – which prompted the youngster to show his disapproval by driving past him on the cooldown lap. At one stage, the two drivers nearly collided after Tsunoda locked up, causing Ricciardo to hit out on the team radio and call him a “f***ing helmet”.

RB drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda talk in the garage on the opening day of 2024 F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain | Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
RB drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda talk in the garage on the opening day of 2024 F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain | Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

While both drivers pointed the finger at one another after the race, senior members of the RB hierarchy held a team briefing to discuss the fallout from the race. Ricciardo revealed that he and Tsunoda managed to “clear the air” in a separate briefing shortly after, although he stopped short of naming which driver apologised for their part in the disagreement.

“After our technical briefing, we then had a private briefing and just cleared the air. It was important for Yuki and I, we had to do it, but also for the team to know that we’re not going to have problems moving forward,” Ricciardo told the press in Saudi Arabia. “It was thing that we really needed to do, but also it helped us just leave that room and be like ‘alright, it’s done’.

H2: Ricciardo on growing up

Addressing his own comments and whether he regrets them, the 34-year-old admitted he does “immature things” sometimes and is not a “full adult”. But he reflected on how the incident could actually bring them closer together, starting with the Saudi Arabian GP on Saturday.

“At the end of the race, there’s some frustrations, you’re also a bit exhausted, you can always do maybe some things, which are a little bit out of character. So I try to take these things into account as well.

“But it was also something that was for us afterwards. Obviously enough got put out into the public, but it was important that we spoke after the race.”

The ex-Red Bull reserve later added: “No one’s going to benefit from us having a rivalry or attention or anything like this, especially when the team has new personnel, everyone’s trying to pick each other up and kind of build themselves in the confidence like, we need to help them do that as well.

“What happened at the end of the race… yes, it wasn’t great. But actually then two hours later, how we walked out of that meeting, I think actually put the team in a better place than it was even Sunday morning.”

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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