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Tensions flare between Tsunoda and Ricciardo post-race

Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo have emerged as one of the biggest talking points from the 2024 Bahrain GP.

In a race with few headline moments, Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo caused some controversy in Bahrain. The two Racing Bulls displayed clear frustrations on team radio, both during and after the race.

For most of the Grand Prix, it was the Japanese driver who enjoyed an advantage over his teammate.

Tsunoda spent most of the race fighting for points, fighting with Alonso, Stroll and Zhou for track position.

Although RB failed to show the performance that many expected, a top-10 result was still on the cards.

It was only later in the second round of pit stops that things took a downward turn.

Tsunoda lost out to both Stroll and Zhou, who stopped earlier and executed the undercut.

The 23-year-old managed to reduce the gap, but a lack of an offset with his hard tyres made overtaking difficult.

Running in P13, the VCARB driver was accompanied by teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the closing laps.

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Tense final laps for the Racing Bulls

Daniel Ricciardo was the beneficiary of soft tyres in the final stint, which allowed him to close the gap to his teammate.

Both Racing Bulls were within DRS of Magnussen in 12th, although points were well beyond reach.

Despite this, the Italian outfit gave team orders for a driver swap.

This request did not impress Yuki Tsunoda, who was within five-tenths of the Haas in front.

A series of team radio messages from both drivers followed:

Engineer: “Driver swap.”

Tsunoda: “Are you kidding me, now?”

Ricciardo: “Yeah, I don’t need to say anything.”

Tsunoda: “Yeah thanks guys, I appreciate it…. He needs to speed up man. He’s not fast, at all.”

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Post-race frustrations

However, another communication after the chequered flag was missed in the TV broadcast.

After crossing the line, the two RB teammates came very close.

Tsunoda locked up slightly as he overtook Ricciardo on the cool-down lap, getting closer than the Australian was comfortable with.

Evidently, the #22 car was still unhappy with how events unfolded.

There was no contact, but the two VCBAR 01 machines were closer than they should have been.

This triggered a response from the 34-year-old on his team radio:

“What a f***… I’ll save it. 

“He’s a f*** helmet.”

It seems safe to say that Laurent Mekies will have a delicate yet thorough debrief to conduct post-race.

Despite closening their collaboration with Red Bull, the Faenza-based team has failed to penetrate the top 5.

To make things more challenging, there are early signs of a strain forming between their driver pairing.


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