These Are the Hottest F1 Teammate Dramas in 2024 So Far

Visa Cash App RB drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda have already tried to wipe each other out. What’s next?

byElizabeth Blackstock|
F1 photo


The 2024 Formula 1 season has just barely gotten underway, but if there's one thing we can look forward to at this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, it's the hot teammate battles that have already started simmering. In the first two races of the season, we've seen explosive blowouts and attempts at political maneuvering that have injected a little extra interest into weekends dominated by Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen.

Today, we're going to run through three of the spiciest intra-team battles—and give my predictions on how the drama will play out throughout the season.

Scuderia Ferrari: Carlos Sainz Jr. vs. Charles Leclerc

Carlos Sainz Jr. missed the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a nasty case of appendicitis, so our perspective on the intra-Ferrari battle between Sainz and teammate Charles Leclerc isn't quite as clear as it could be. However, we got quite the show at the season opener in Bahrain. Sainz ran a fantastic race to finish on the podium, but when he climbed out of his car to celebrate his third place with Ferrari, the team was nowhere to be found in parc fermé


See, Ferrari has already decided on its 2025 lineup, and Sainz isn't part of it; instead, Leclerc will be joined by seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton. It might not seem like that would predicate a battle between Leclerc and Sainz, but the Spanish driver is guaranteed to fight tooth and nail to prove his worth to any teams that might want to sign him in the future. The best way to do that? By dominating his teammate. Expect another spicy Sainz performance in Australia.

Alpine F1 Team: Pierre Gasly vs. Esteban Ocon

Alpine is in dire straits. Despite several rounds of investment from celebrities like actor Ryan Reynolds and NFL player Travis Kelce, the French team can't seem to get its head on straight, and it has filtered through key personnel with surprising rapidity. But part of the team's struggles almost certainly has to do with the fact that teammates Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon simply do not like each other.


The drama stems back several years. During the 2009 Bridgestone Cup kart race, Gasly attempted to overtake Ocon on the last corner of the final lap in their battle for third place. They made contact, and Gasly nabbed the position. That simple wound has festered over time; while both men can treat each other with professionalism and respect, there's no love lost on either side. Pair that with Alpine's shock at its routinely underperforming car, and one has to wonder—how much collaboration is going on behind the scenes? Are Gasly and Ocon working together to help the team build the best car possible, or are they confining data to their half of the team garage?

The Gasly-Ocon drama hasn't quite sparked off yet, but as the team continues to struggle and both teammates scrabble for points, we can expect fireworks.

Visa Cash App RB: Daniel Ricciardo vs. Yuki Tsunoda

There's no question about the winner of the Feistiest Teammates battle; that award goes directly to Daniel Ricciardo and Yuki Tsunoda at Visa Cash App RB (the team that formerly did business as AlphaTauri). 


At the end of the opening race of the season, the Bahrain Grand Prix, Tsunoda reluctantly obeyed a team order that instructed him to allow Ricciardo past him for 13th place; RB felt Ricciardo had a better shot of passing the Haas of Kevin Magnussen right in front of them, but Ricciardo wasn't able to get by, and RB declined to reverse the team orders to let Tsunoda past. On the cool-down lap after the checkered flag flew, Tsunoda drove aggressively past Ricciardo twice, looking as if he was about to force a collision with his teammate. Ricciardo criticized Tsunoda's immaturity, while Tsunoda was once again forced to acknowledge the claims that he can be far too hot-headed to drive high-powered F1 cars.

The ire between the two men seemed to die down during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, but with Tsunoda and Ricciardo finishing 15th and 16th respectively, there wasn't exactly much to fight over.

That being said, if tensions are already this high, we can expect the Tsunoda-Ricciardo drama to rage on throughout the year. Both men have had their futures in F1 threatened by the notorious Red Bull Racing driver development program, which doesn't hesitate to cast drivers aside and replace them—and that storyline is sure to play out in full all season long.

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