Helmut Marko “doesn’t rate” Yuki Tsunoda as Red Bull weigh up 2025 options

Yuki Tsunoda isn't thought to be a possible candidate to join Red Bull for the 2025 F1 season.

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) RB with Alan Permane (GBR) RB Sporting Director on the grid. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3,
Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) RB with Alan Permane (GBR) RB Sporting Director on the…

Despite his strong run of performances with RB, Yuki Tsunoda isn’t likely to replace Sergio Perez for the 2025 F1 season.

According to BBC F1 journalist Andrew Benson, Red Bull are assessing options outside of their current driver pool should they decide to replace Perez or Max Verstappen leaves.

12 of the 20 drivers on the 2024 F1 grid are out of contract.

One of those is Perez, whose seat is the most coveted given Red Bull’s dominance since the start of the ground effect regulations.

While Perez has performed solidly in the opening three races, he still has work to do if he’s to retain his drive for next year.

Daniel Ricciardo hopes a return to Red Bull was on the cards but his performances, so far at least, alongside Tsunoda have been poor.

The Japanese driver has been one of the standout performers in 2024, however, that does seem to be enough to impress Helmut Marko.

As noted by Benson in his pre-Japanese GP Q&A, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sanz are “top of the list of potentials” for next year.

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) RB VCARB 01. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne,
Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) RB VCARB 01. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 3,…

At the moment, neither Ricciardo nor Tsunoda are likely to get a Red Bull seat in 2025 if either Verstappen or Perez leave,” he wrote.

“Ricciardo has been out-performed by Tsunoda since he returned to F1 midway through last season - it looks at the moment as if the Australian has yet to recover the form he previously showed at Red Bull and Renault before his dip after joining McLaren.

“And Ricciardo is at risk of being dropped before too long this season and being replaced at RB by reserve driver Liam Lawson, who impressed when he stood in for Ricciardo last season.

“And Red Bull motorsport adviser Helmut Marko does not rate Tsunoda, who was forced on him by engine partner Honda. Some inside RB say that is unfair, and that Tsunoda has been performing at an elite level so far this season. But Marko remains to be convinced.

“That being the case, the contenders for any vacant Red Bull seat are the same ones as those for any other vacant seat at a top team - with Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz at the top of the list of potentials.”

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