Ricciardo and Tsunoda talk through Bahrain spat

Daniel Ricciardo says he and Visa Cash App RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda cleared the air behind closed doors in the hours after the Bahrain Grand Prix, following a close call on the cool-down lap.

Tsunoda was frustrated at being told to move over for Ricciardo to allow his teammate — on soft tires — to try and attack Kevin Magnussen for 12th place. Ricciardo didn’t manage to find a way past the Haas but was not told to give the position back, and Tsunoda then robustly overtook the Australian under braking after the checkered flag, before coming close to contact as he rejoined the track. Ricciardo says the matter was discussed immediately after the race, and there’s no lasting animosity between the two.

“Yes, we did [clear the air] and it was important,” Ricciardo said. “I think the race situation is something that, obviously, can happen. Drivers never like team orders, so if a driver doesn’t react straight away it’s not it’s like the first time that has ever happened.


“That was all pretty clear; I think it was important for us to talk about that, also to be clear that even if it’s in the heat of the moment, things can have some bigger consequences. We talked personally, privately, doors closed, openly, transparently, so it was the right thing to do and we left on Saturday night feeling, ‘It’s done’!”

Ricciardo says it was important the discussions were held because tension between the two drivers can’t be allowed to build up so early in the season.

“I mean, it did [surprise], that’s why I came in on the radio saying, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ I said a few things but I also had to stop myself, because I know everything gets broadcast and I knew it was something we would discuss once the helmet’s off and maybe the heart rate come down a little.

“But I think the team handled it really well after the race, in terms of getting us together, making sure that nothing was left on the table. It was just, we left that room, feeling like there was no more any sides or feelings or that ‘I got hard done by’ or there’s a bit of animosity — none of that.