RB's Ricciardo brands teammate Tsunoda immature after near crash

BAHRAIN -- Daniel Ricciardo criticised RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda's "immaturity" after they narrowly avoided a collision on the cool-down lap that followed the conclusion of the Bahrain Grand Prix, which was comfortably won by Max Verstappen.

On the lap back to the pits after racing had finished, Tsunoda divebombed down the inside of Ricciardo's car at Turn 8, locking up heavily in the process.

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Tsunoda then whizzed past Ricciardo's car on the exit of the corner, missing by a matter of inches.

Ricciardo had been changing settings on his dashboard and only had one hand on the wheel when Tsunoda drove past.

"What the f---?! I'll save it. He's a f---ing helmet!" an irate Ricciardo said on the team radio after the incident.

Tsunoda had been upset at RB's decision to implement team orders and have its drivers swap positions, venting over the radio, "Are you kidding me now?"

Since his debut in 2021, Tsunoda has developed a hot-headed reputation, with that perception known to be one of the reasons Red Bull's Christian Horner and Helmut Marko are reluctant to promote him to the company's senior team.

Ricciardo had clearly calmed down by the time he reached the media pen shortly afterward.

Asked if he had talked to Tsunoda before talking to the press, Ricciardo said: "I'll let him cool down. We know what he's like. Obviously during the moment he's very... that's Yuki.

"I'm OK. I'm thinking long-term. This is a long season, so we need to be able to work together, so I'm not going to come in there with an angry attitude. It's just we have to be very honest and realistic that it should've happened when they called it."

Tsunoda did not immediately follow the team order, only doing it on the lap after he had been asked. Ricciardo said he, Tsunoda and the team had discussed before the race the possibility of a swap if that scenario had played out as it did.

"I came on the radio and was trying to stay cool. A bit of immaturity, let's say that," Ricciardo said to F1 TV of his teammate. "I'm being very sensible right now, but let's call it immaturity. 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," Ricciardo continued. "And if he gets the call, then it's going to happen.

"He's not giving me points. We're fighting for 13th, so at least give us the best chance to get at least one car in the points."

"It's a long year," Ricciardo said. "And we need to make sure we're all good, so we'll go back, have a meeting and be very mature about it, and look forward to Jeddah."

The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix takes place in Jeddah next Saturday, March 9.