Thursday, July 18, 2024

Yuki Tsunoda: RB driver fined for using offensive slur about rival during Austrian GP qualifying -Dlight News

Yuki Tsunoda has been fined €40,000 after making an offensive comment about a fellow Formula 1 driver during Austrian Grand Prix qualifying.

Tsunoda, who competes for Red Bull’s junior team, RB, took aim at Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu over the radio after he believed he was obstructed in the pit-lane.

The 24-year-old Japanese driver used an expletive and a slur against disabled people.

Tsunoda faced the stewards who slapped him with a €40,000 (£33,901) fine – with half of the sanction suspended for the remainder of the season.

A statement from Formula 1’s governing body, the FIA, read: “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.

“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.

“The stewards appreciate the honesty of the driver, but reinforce the fact the words used are offensive and wholly inappropriate.

“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.”

Tsunoda, now in his fourth F1 season, posted his own message of apology on social media later on Saturday.

“I wanted to say big apologies what I said in the radio today,” he wrote. “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.”

Tsunoda will start Sunday’s race from 14th on the grid at the Red Bull Ring.

F1’s triple-header continues with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring. Watch every session live on Sky Sports F1, with Sunday’s big race at 2pm. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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