Yuki Tsunoda, RB, Shanghai, 2024

Tsunoda to stay at RB in 2025 alongside Ricciardo or Lawson – Marko

Formula 1

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Yuki Tsunoda will have a fifth season in Formula 1 next year according to Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko.

However the Japanese driver could have a new team mate as Liam Lawson is under consideration for Daniel Ricciardo’s seat.

Following Red Bull’s announcement earlier this week that Sergio Perez will remain at their top team for at least two more years, Marko clarified their plans for its second team, RB. He told Kleine Zeitung “Yuki Tsunoda is set, that’s clear,” for 2025.

Tsunoda made his debut for the team in 2021, when it competed as AlphaTauri. He has out-performed his more experienced, grand prix-winning team mate Ricciardo so far this year, finishing in the points five times. Tsunoda lies 10th in the championship, four places ahead of Ricciardo, whose only points score came in the sprint race at Miami.

Before Perez’s new deal was announced Tsunoda indicated he would consider joining another team if he did not get a promotion to Red Bull. “If I’ve got an interesting offer that could be better than even [RB] or Red Bull, I’ll think about it. But I also have a big loyalty to Red Bull as without them I wouldn’t be here.

“And obviously Honda as well. And speaking of Honda, maybe Aston Martin, but Aston also, they’re taken by two drivers.”

Ricciardo returned to F1 at RB last year as a mid-season replacement for Nyck de Vries. He then missed five races due to injury and Lawson made his debut as a substitute.

Now Lawson is under consideration for Ricciardo’s seat. “He is there at every race and we are in close contact,” said Marko.

One factor in Red Bull’s decision could be the possibility a rival will make a bid for Lawson if he does not get a race seat next year. “There is a clause with Lawson,” said Marko. “If we don’t offer him an active seat, he’ll be free for other teams.”

Lawson is currently acting as a reserve driver for Red Bull and RB and is not competing in any series this year.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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24 comments on “Tsunoda to stay at RB in 2025 alongside Ricciardo or Lawson – Marko”

  1. Maybe F1TV can nab Ricky for some punditry in the pre- and post-shows, he’d be good at that.

  2. In all likelihood

  3. They want to keep Ricciardo so if Perez costs them the Constructors they gonna switch them around.

    1. Riccardo is not gonna be much of an upgrade on Pérez.

      Giving Pérez a 2-year deal and keeping Riccardo around is clearly a decision driven by financial considerations and Horner wanting to keep Max happy. No reason to snub Sainz and Alonso otherwise.

    2. “They want to keep Ricciardo so if Perez costs them the Constructors they gonna switch them around.”

      Why would they replace Perez with Ricc if Yuki’s been beating him soundly?

  4. I wish Danny Ric went to Indycar. He’d be sensational there, and incredibly popular.

    1. I’m going to suggest that Ric is bringing a level of driver feedback to the team that Tsu and Lawson can’t. There’s been a noticeable upswing in RB’s outright performance since he’s embedding with the team. Yes Ric has struggled to see get the full potential out of the car, we’ve seen through this entire rules set that he has, but when it’s singing to him and in that sweet spot he can get the maximum possible result, it’s up to the team to engineer it so that it’s in the sweet spot. I doubt Tsu or Lawson have the feedback available to them to help the team in the way that Ric can.

      1. I think it’s probably just a coincidence that RB’s performance has improved since Ricciardo has been there. The whole field has got closer after all and teams like Alpine, Williams and Sauber have slipped backwards if anything.

        Ricciardo has had one really good result in the Miami sprint, but if he really was able to get the car into the sweet spot for the Sprint he failed miserably for the actual GP. Also, from my understanding watching Free Practice sessions the feedback both Lawson and Tsunoda were giving during their partnership was extremely similar.. Ricciardo was apparently trying setups that slowed the car down during the first handful of races this year and he eventually moved much closer to Tsunoda’s setup and his performance improved. So I’m not really buying his feedback is worth as much as people are making out.

        1. I haven’t read anywhere that Ric has moved closer to Tsu’s setup. I have read multiple accounts of how the team and even tsu have said they are stronger for Rics input.

          Every single driver on the grid said the tyres were on a knife edge for Miami, so yea what worked for sprint didn’t for the race. Even max said he couldn’t tell where the tyres were going to be lap to lap.

        2. @lejimster82 but, last year, we were also being told that, following Ricciardo’s relatively strong performance in the Mexican Grand Prix, Tsunoda started to move some elements of his set ups closer to that of Ricciardo.

          If that is the case, then apparently we have Ricciardo supposedly copying parts of Tsunoda’s set up, whilst Tsunoda is apparently also copying parts of Ricciardo’s set up.

  5. Make it Lawson – please make it Lawson.

    I personally believe that Yuki should be given a try-out in the other Red Bull alongside Max, but there seems to be some Yuki hate in that team.
    It is probably more to do with an “Old Boys Club” mentality rather than racism, but whatever the reason it’s a shame as Yuki is performing well and deserves a shot I think.

    He couldn’t possibly be as sad a joke as Perez is turning into.

    1. I’m a Checo fan but I have to agree, he has a great start to the season and then has the midseason flop which it looks like he’s experiencing right now. Yuki has been very consistent and has generally matured enough to be considered for that seat alongside Max. I would like to see him get a chance in a top team.

      1. Oh and yes to Lawson. For me he should have been driving alongside Yuki this year. I think the team would be pushing closer to Aston Martin with 2 good young drivers than sticking with Ricciardo who is past his best.

        1. Yes. Give Lawson two years alongside Tsunoda, promote the better driver to Checo’s seat after that. Next rookie into whatever they are calling the RB Cash App Visa team for 2027.

    2. Tsunoda is there because of Honda. As soon as Honda leaves, he leaves. I doubt he was ever an option to the main team, even if he’s obviously improving.

      1. Yes, and I’m not a fan of his comment about being loyal to red bull: if he gets an offer from a team better placed than toro rosso, he should go for it, drivers don’t get to stay at that team forever.

      2. Exactly; there’s been no hint that he was ever a serious candidate for the main team.

        Plus by the end of the year he’ll be over 90 Grand Prix into his career. So either he is the most unique driver ever who just keeps getting better, or he’s like all the others and has quickly settled into his normal range, with recent teammates Ricciardo, De Vries and Lawson making him look good by comparison. Tsunoda is a solid F1 driver, and that’s not meant as a negative; it’s high praise. But in that same F1 context he’s also nothing special.

        I doubt Stroll will give Tsunoda a seat. After all, Aston Martin has only two to go around, whereas Horner for whatever reason has four.

      3. pretty much, if only the guys in Japan would stop with the ridiculous european standards and go back to what made JGTC great, and make carts faster than F1 cars, the amount of damage it could do to the charade going on now would be deafening.

        If I were running the show in Japan I would take almost all of the FIA standards (safety) xerox them and then just create an Asian Automobile Association and destroy the FIA’s nonsense. With China and the likes moving to greatly outstrip the west, it would be a great coup/move to capture the circuits in the east as well as promote a better spectacle.

    3. Barry Kilkelly
      8th June 2024, 1:07

      Lawson and Ricciardo need to swap positions.

  6. Lawson may be available for another seat but is anyone going to grab him? He seemed good but nothing indicative of a champion level talent.

    I’m not meaning to discredit him, just not sure where he could fit. Haas has Bearman, Alpine has Doohan, AM are set, Sauber maybe as a second driver? But surely Audi will be looking for a bigger name for their debut.

  7. I doubt Marko has any power to make decision these days, he is just giving his opinion. He almost got fired from RBR himself. CH is the one who will be calling the shots. I think RB will retain both drivers unless the gap is huge between the two by end of season. There are many drivers to choose from including ex RBR drivers like Gasly or Sainz if they want to offer them a seat again. Many guys have been trashing Ricciardo as washed up driver but I do not think he is rubbish. He is not top tier but still good enough for midfield. Just like Hulk, Albon, Perez, Bottas, Alpine drivers.

    1. He almost got fired from RBR himself

      Huh? You mean the bit where he said he might quit if Horner isn’t removed? It was just for headlines. He’s always been in control of the driver programme, but it’s true Horner can frustrate him by keeping RBR drivers as they are. I have a feeling that’s what’s happening.

  8. Honda (HRC) have spoken.

  9. Sheena Alison Mccabe
    7th June 2024, 8:10

    VRB is where it is due to Daniel. It’s his experience that has helped the team become competitive. Yuki up until this season had 1 years experience repeated two times and since his partnership with Daniel he’s begun to grow into what is begining to look like a future winner. Yuki has also made mention in a number of interviews about Daniels influence in helping him over come his anger issues and the advice he gets pre races which has helped improve his driving.
    Also, both the TP and CEO have praised Daniel for the work he’s doing for the team. After all this team is six months old and started the season with brand new team personnel and car. The only experience has come from Daniel as the TP is a first time TP and the CEO was only appointed last year and as previously mentioned Yuki had very little experience. Yes, Daniel race performance has not been up to par but considering the guy has two jobs and Yuki only one – turn up, listen to Daniels advice and then drive and keep his temper I’d say Daniel is key to this teams future and he will find his form now as the team isn’t so dependent on his experience. Remove Daniel and there goes the experiences. Remember VRB is the sister team to Red Bull no longer the Junior team. Now Marko, who is a contractor not an employee of red bull had sole responsibility for the junior team and as there is no junior team now I’d say anything he says about the VRB line up should be taken with a pinch of salt. Also, he only said a week ago the current VRB line up is strong so this latest comment bringing in Liam Lawson won’t hold any water.
    As far as Liam is concerned he has shown himself to be an arrogant young man who mistakenly believes he’s better than he is. Until he’s completed a full rookie year as a driver not a reserve he has nothing to base his claims he is better than Daniel and yuki on. He should remember not every promising young driver survives their rookie year.
    He believes he’s owed Daniels seat because he subbed for him when he was injured. His claim he is faster than Daniel and better ,I believe, is based on the five races he covered as a reserve. Before the crash Daniel had driven the AT car twice before the summer and it was made clear by AT TP at the time these races were fact finding session for Daniel and the team. Daniel actually pushed the car and showed what can happen when it’s driven well and suddenly they became competitive. So the results from data etc gleaned from those two races were put into Daniels car during the summer break ready for Daniel to drive but due to the crash Liam got the chance to drive instead. So back to Liam’s claims – he got into a much better car than the one Daniel drove prior to the summer break and reaped the benefits of Daniels and the teams work and instead of showing gratitude he and his manager launched the I’m better than Daniel campaign. Which has since blown up in their faces when his manager was accused by Marko of spreading rumours about Daniel losing his seat before the Imola race. Now Liam has since shot himself in his own foot by demanding the Red bull CEO gives him either Daniel or Yuki s seat for 2025.
    Liam needs to remember there is a legion of young drivers waiting in the wings who would love to be a reserve driver for Red Bull, and there is the other reserve, iwasa, waiting in the wings quietly doing his job and showing respect and above all being patient. If Liam wants a seat in Red Bull or another team he needs to re-adjust his approach and attitude and stop telling the media he is owed a seat as no reserve or driver is ever owed a seat.
    So what I’m saying is VRB current line up is strong and getting stronger. Another year for Yuki in VRB will make him a sort after driver , more so than now. And with Daniels continuous input and return to form VRB is going to be a team to beat and one to join. A worthy sister team to Red Bull.

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