Yuki Tsunoda Apologises After FIA Fines Him USD 42,862 For Calling Drivers ‘F-ck-ng Retarded’

Yuki Tsunoda has apologized on social media for statements he made over team radio, which led to his summons to the FIA in Austria.

Updated on Jun 30, 2024  |  05:56 PM IST |  81.6K
Yuki Tsunoda [Credit-Instagram@yukitsunoda0511]
Yuki Tsunoda [Credit-Instagram@yukitsunoda0511]

Yuki Tsunoda has been fined €40,000 ($42,862), with half of the amount suspended, for using an ableist slur on his radio during qualifying. During Q1, the RB driver expressed irritation with drivers queuing ahead of him in the pit lane. "The guys are f*ck*ng retarded," Tsunoda informed his racing engineer Mattia Spini, who answered, "Yuki, no worries, don't worry, plenty of time."

The stewards determined that Tsunoda violated article 12.2.1 (k) of the International Sporting Code, which prohibits "any misconduct". They accepted the Japanese driver's argument that he didn't completely comprehend the meaning of the English word he used.

What did the Stewards have to say about Yuki Tsunoda?

“During the hearing, the driver was very apologetic and explained that because English is not his first language he was unaware until after the session what the meaning of the words used is in the English language,” the FIA said in a statement. 

The FIA further stated, “He said that he was horrified when he learned this. He contended that his understanding of the words was different, but acknowledged that this should not be considered as an excuse for what he did.”

Noting on the situation in regards to Tsunoda, the FIA further stated, “The stewards appreciate the honesty of the driver, but reinforce the fact the words used are offensive and wholly inappropriate. To have used such words over a platform that is available to the public amounted to misconduct as defined in article 20 of the International Sporting Code.”

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They continued, “Considering the circumstances, the stewards determine that a severe fine is required, but also take into account the genuine remorse of the driver and his offer to issue a public apology and for these reasons decide to suspend part of the fine imposed.”


Yuki Tsunoda apologizes to fans and FIA 

Tsunoda apologized for his comments on social media platform X. He wrote, “Hello, I wanted to say big apologies what I said in the radio today. Obviously I didn’t use it intentionally and was completely misunderstanding from myself that exact meaning of it. I now have better understanding for what the word means and am very apologetic for what I said. This type of language has no place and is not tolerated and for that I am sorry.”

While Tsunoda must pay €20,000 immediately, a further €20,000 is suspended for the remainder of the season "on condition that no similar infringement occurs." 

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Meanwhile, Max Verstappen used the same expletive and other similar terms over his radio after colliding with Lance Stroll in practice for the 2020 Portuguese Grand Prix.

However, the FIA has begun to take a tougher stance on statements made by drivers and others in Formula One. Previously, Sergio Perez received a formal warning for referring to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix stewards as "a joke" on his radio last year.

Also Read: Why Is F1 Called Grand Prix? All You Need To Know

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About The Author

A graduate in journalism. Blesson is an Indore-based writer who has a keen interest in exploring sports news,

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