Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto apologized for referring to Formula One driver Yuki Tsunoda as `Tsunami`. Binotto used the word when alluding to Tsunoda in an interview with Italy`s La Gazzetta dello Sport last week, shortly after the Japanese driver retired for the third time this season at the Dutch Grand Prix.
The Ferrari boss was told at a news conference ahead of the Italian GP that his comment had caused offense in Japan, which was devastated in 2011 by a tsunami that killed nearly 16,000 people.
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“Certainly I need to apologize and it was a mistake by using that word,” Binotto said. “It was no intention to do anything wrong.” Binotto called Tsunoda a “fantastic driver” and a “great man.”
He said he had a good relationship with the AlphaTauri driver, adding “it`s a simple joke, but it`s a bad joke.” Tsunoda will serve a grid penalty for Sunday`s race after receiving five reprimands in 15 races. The 22-year-old driver also has eight penalty points on his super-license in the last 12 months, 12 in a year triggers an automatic race ban.
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