Tension between Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda spills over after F1 Bahrain Grand Prix

If you were hoping for some fireworks in the first race of the 2024 Formula 1 season, you did not find them at the front of the field. Max Verstappen pulled away from the other 19 drivers, winning the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, and his 55th career victory. Teammate Sergio Pérez finished in second behind him, as Red Bull locked out the first race of the season for the second year in a row.

But if it was fireworks you wanted, you got them.

Thanks to a pair of teammates.

Further back in the field, the Visa Cash App RB F1 Team of Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo was running outside the points, as the race wound down to its conclusion. With Tsunoda on a pair of hard tires running in P13, and Ricciardo just behind him on a pair of softs, the order came in to Tsunoda from the team.

Let Ricciardo by.

Tsunoda was incredulous, and initially it looked as if he was not going to let his teammate pass him. He did, but continued to air his frustration on the team radio, as noted in our post-race recap.

Tsunoda’s frustration continued after the checkered flag, as he cut in front of Riccardo after the race, nearly causing a collision:

“What the fuck?” Ricciardo exclaimed on the radio as Tsunoda passed him. “Oh, save it.”

Speaking with the media after the Bahrain Grand Prix, Ricciardo made it known that this order was something the team discussed going into the race, and blasted his teammate’s “immaturity.”

“I’m being very sensible right now, but let’s call it immaturity,” he said to F1.com. “He’s obviously frustrated with the team orders call.

“But let’s be real, this is something we talked about before the race. It was very likely I was going to use a soft at the end of the race. So he knew that there was a chance that I would have a pace advantage at the end and if he gets the call, then it’s going to happen.”

The incident kicks off what could be a critical season for both drivers. Tsunoda and Ricciardo are two of the 13 drivers set to see their contracts expire at the end of the year, and while both are eying a promotion to Red Bull — and the seat that is currently occupied by Pérez — they also know that Liam Lawson is waiting in the wings for any open seat on the grid.

Including either of the seats they currently occupy.

Will the team smooth things over in the coming days, starting with what is sure to be a frosty debriefing session tonight, or is this just a sign of what the season will be at VCARB?

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