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Ricciardo praises team over how it dealt with team orders row


Daniel Ricciardo has praised his team for the way it handled the team orders issue in Bahrain last week.

Using new softs for his final stint, as opposed to the hards his teammate was running, Ricciardo was keen to be allowed to pass the other RB in order to take on Kevin Magnussen up ahead.

Having made his desire clear to the team - and seemingly having reached an agreement before the race - Tsunoda was eventually ordered to allow the Australian through, much to the Japanese driver's obvious frustration.

When he did obey the order and allow Ricciardo through it was on the most difficult part of the track, and subsequently the Japanese continued to harry his teammate, the pair almost colliding on the slow down lap.

Both drivers continued to express their unhappiness after the race, and having made their feelings clear to the media were subsequently ordered to talk it over in private and clear the air.

"Yes, we did and it was important," Ricciardo told reporters in Jeddah today, when asked if there had been a get together with his teammate. "I think the race situation is something that 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," he continued, "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 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!'"

Asked about his reaction, especially when Tsunoda almost ran into his on the slow down lap, Ricciardo admitted the move had shocked him. "It did," he said. "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 get broadcast and I knew it was something we would discuss once the helmets were off and maybe the heart rate come down a little.

"I think the team handled it really well after the race," he added, "in terms of getting us together, making sure that nothing was left on the table or there was no more. 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, like none of that.

"You can't have any of this," he said of animosity further down the line. "I think the team handled us very well after. It's only race one, you cannot have any of this and I think the team handled us very well, afterwards.

"I'm also, let's say, old enough that I don't necessarily need someone to put an arm around me and say, 'I'm really sorry about that'," he added. "I'm looking at much more big picture, this is a team that is relatively new, in some respects. It's a very long season, I just know that if you have these little rivalries from race one, it's not going to help the team moving forward. So, it was more from that point of view, that was important for us to just deal with it, then and there and to clear the air.

"It was all very calmly spoken, there was no raised voices or anything. We just addressed it like, like adults.

"I was curious to see how it was going to be dealt with," he admitted, in terms of the team's handling of the situation, "because it's one of those ones where you don't realize race car drivers are stubborn. Yes, we are stubborn, and sometimes we're like, 'ah, screw this, I'm just walking away, and they'll deal with it'.

"I think the fact that we got brought into a room and just talked about it, and it was very calm, it was very composed, it wasn't no pointing fingers. It was just, 'let's talk about this'. So, we know that when we leave this room, we feel a lot better about it and know that we go to Saudi with absolutely no hangover or whatever from this little incident. So, that was good.

"Obviously, I knew we'd get asked questions about it. But honestly, since Saturday night haven't talked any more about it."


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1. Posted by Mad Matt, 07/03/2024 8:59

"Letting Daniel have a go on the soft tyres seemed a good call to me.. and not that unusual. The only real problem was Yuki not responding quickly enough so that by the time Daniel got in front he'd lost most of the tyre advantage.

I would respect more a grumpy Yuki letting Daniel past with a "I'm not happy but we'll talk after the race" comment.

So far I'm more impressed with Oscar and Lando. Last year Oscar didn't get the first pit stop even when he was in front but didn't make a big deal out of it and this race it was the other way round and Lando didn't make a fuss. It seem they're both more willing to accept the team knows what it's doing... sometimes with a complaint but mostly without fireworks... or perhaps there's more going on behind the scenes that I haven't seen!"

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2. Posted by ian_w, 07/03/2024 8:56

"This was definitely a case of bad team strategy. The team should have known laps in advance that RIC would have been in a position to overtake, warned/reminded TSU in advance on the alternate configuration/strategy and suggested him of the optimal locations to do with the least overall loss of time for either. Maybe they might have ended up up one ahead.

Granted, nothing as strategically stupid as we've repeatedly seen out of a top tier team with well matched drivers. Talking about you, (falling off) prancing horse!"

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3. Posted by didaho, 07/03/2024 2:23

"@kenji Marko addressing team strategy not the glaring problem certainly backs that idea up."

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4. Posted by kenji, 06/03/2024 23:45

"Read in another place that Marko had 'sided' with Tsunoda and blamed the team for a bad strategy!. Maybe two helmets are better than one. Daniel and CH are very best friends, I suppose that wouldn't have anything to do with Marko's activities now would it? "

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