Daniel Ricciardo at centre of ugly incident as Max Verstappen dominates in Bahrain

The Aussie driver called teammate Yuki Tsunoda "immature" after a fiery clash at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Pictured Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo labelled his teammate Yuki Tsunoda "immature" after he dive bombed him in frustration during the cool down lap. Image: Getty

Daniel Ricciardo has labelled Red Bull teammate Yuki Tsunoda "immature" after the Japanese F1 star had a furious reaction to team orders at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Tsunoda started 11th, three places above the Australian, and led Ricciardo for much of the race.

But Ricciardo took up a different strategy from his teammate and had the fresher tyres in the latter stages and was picking up time rapidly. Tsunoda was on the back of Haas' Kevin Magnussen in a fight for 12th place with six laps to go when he was ordered to let the Aussie through.

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The call was made due to the Visa Cash App RB team believing Ricciardo had a better chance of pulling off a late charge up into a points position and Tsunoda was furious. "Are you kidding me? Now?" an irate Tsunoda said on the team radio.

The Japanese driver was in no rush to let Ricciardo through and held him out for another lap before finally letting him pass. But that delay in accepting team orders proved costly for Ricciardo, who was lapped by the leading pack, which helped Magnussen get through as Ricciardo's tyre advantage faded, finishing 13th, ahead of Tsunoda.

Tsunoda was filthy after the race, sarcastically saying on the team radio: "Yeah thanks guys, I appreciate it …. He needs to speed up man. He’s not fast, at all."

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 21: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash App RB and Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Visa Cash App RB walk in the Paddock during day one of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 21, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Daniel Ricciardo and Visa Cash App RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda walk in the Paddock during F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit. Image: Getty (Mark Thompson via Getty Images)

Yuki Tsunoda suffers brain fade in cool-down lap

Ricciardo was already frustrated by his teammate's delay in acting on team orders but was angered further after Tsunoda extraordinarily decided to dive-bomb him on the cool-down lap. The Japanese star inexplicably torpedoed up the inside of a turn before locking up his breaks, missing the apex entirely.

As Tsunoda came back onto the track he almost swiped Ricciardo, who was furious with his teammates' actions. "What the f***!" Ricciardo radioed. "I’ll save it. He’s a f***ing helmet."

Ricciardo was heated post-race but said he was trying to be mature about it all. "I don’t know. That was... I came on the radio and I was trying to stay cool. But... I’m being really sensible now, so let’s call it immaturity," Ricciardo said of Tsunoda.

"He’s obviously frustrated with the team orders call. But let’s be real, this is something that we talk about before the race. It was very likely I was going to use the softs at the end of the race, so he knew that there was a chance that I’d have a pace advantage at the end.

"That’s the call and it’s going to happen," he said "So we’re also not giving me points. We’re fighting for thirteenth. At least give us the best chance to get at least one car in points."

Max Verstappen dominates first race of the season

Max Verstappen picked up right where he left off last season, cruising to his 55th victory in the opening race of the F1 season in Bahrain. He won by a mammoth 22 seconds, with teammate Sergio Perez coming in second.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz took the chequered flag in third, one place ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc. Mercedes' George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished a disappointing fifth and seventh respectively. McLaren's Lando Norris came in sixth and his Aussie teammate Oscar Piastri finished eighth, the same spot he started on the grid.

SAKHIR, BAHRAIN - MARCH 02: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing is on the podium after the F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain at Bahrain International Circuit on March 02, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Ayman Yaqoob/Anadolu via Getty Images)
Max Verstappen picked up where he left off last season, cruising to his 55th victory in the opening race of the Formula One season in Bahrain. (Anadolu via Getty Images)

Bahrain Grand Prix finishing order

1: Max Verstappen, Red Bull

2: Sergio Perez, Red Bull

3: Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

4: Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

5: George Russell, Mercedes

6: Lando Norris, McLaren

7: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

8: Oscar Piastri, McLaren

9: Fernando Alonso, Aston

10: Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

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